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Inside this issue
Buy by Jan. 1, or Bye-Bye Fleet Break
U.S. Sales Surge at Fastest Pace in Nearly 7 Years
Truck Demand Drives Sales Higher For Detroit's Big Three
Toyota Camry Poised to Retain No. 1 Car Crown
Mitsubishi Chops Electric Price, Adds Features
Ford Redesigns Camaro-Chasing Mustang for Global Buyers
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Buy by Jan. 1, or Bye-Bye Fleet Break

Dealers hustle as tax plum nears end

Big tax breaks for many buyers of commercial vehicles are scheduled to expire at year end, so automakers and dealers are scrambling to get the word out to small businesses to buy now. The tax breaks, part of federal stimulus legislation spurred by the recession, dramatically front load the depreciation schedules for many large assets, particularly for vehicles of more than 6,000 pounds, such as heavy-duty pickups. Mitchell Dale, owner of McRee Ford in Dickinson, Texas, said one customer who runs a fleet of about 50 vehicles was scheduled to replace two pickups; instead, he bought seven. "He bought five additional vehicles so he could take advantage of the tax benefits" because his accountant told him to, Dale said. "It is clearly stimulating some business on the commercial side." The tax breaks available this year can mean first-year depreciation of as much as $46,000 on a $60,000 heavy-duty pickup if a customer takes delivery before Dec. 31.The extra depreciation can reduce business tax bills by lowering taxable income. The deduction under Section 179 of the federal tax code applies to businesses that buy or lease $2 million or less worth of equipment in 2013. Most vehicles of more than 6,000 pounds that are used for business are eligible for 100 percent of the depreciation. But any vehicle used for commercial purposes can qualify for some benefits.
Source: Automotive News
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U.S. Sales Surge at Fastest Pace in Nearly 7 Years

U.S. sales of cars and light trucks surged 9 percent in November to 1.24 million units and rolled off dealership lots at the fastest pace in almost seven years. The industry's annualized sales rate, adjusted for seasonal factors, rose to 16.4 million last month, up from 15.3 million a year earlier and easily topping analysts' forecasts in the 15.8 million range. Last month's SAAR was the highest since the 16.8 million mark reached in February 2007 -- 10 months before the start of the recession. It's the second time the SAAR has topped 16 million this year after hitting 16.1 million in August, a sign that the industry's recovery still has plenty of fuel.
Source: Automotive News

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Truck Demand Drives Sales Higher For Detroit's Big Three

The Big Three automakers reported better than expected November sales growth. Shares of Ford and General Motors, however, are down slightly following the news. The Chrysler Group reported the strongest results with a 16% increase from the same period last year, beating the 11% Wall Street estimate. The auto maker sold 142,275 vehicles. The company calls this its best November since 2007 and its 44th consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth. As of the end of November, Chrysler had a 91 day inventory supply with 500,536 units. Dave Winslow, chief digital strategist for Dealer.com, a digital marketing company that works closely with U.S. auto industry, points out that inventory is higher than is usually desirable. Winslow says that he is seeing increase dealer interest in trucks across brands, suggesting truck sales are expected to remain high.
Source: Forbes
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Toyota Camry Poised to Retain No. 1 Car Crown

Halfway through the year, executives from Toyota Motor Sales USA said they would do whatever it takes to ensure the Camry remains America's best-selling car amid its toughest competition in years. With a month to go in 2013, the Camry has locked up first place for a 12th consecutive year, but its dominance in the mid-sized segment is shrinking even as the automaker dangles bigger-than-usual discounts to lure buyers. Toyota sold 30,386 Camrys in November, raising its total for the year to 378,520 units, or 44,163 more than the Honda Accord. The Camry led the Accord by 71,035 at this time last year.
Source: Automotive News
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Mitsubishi Chops Electric Price, Adds Features

Mitsubishi says it's slashing the price of its i-MiEV electric car $6,130 to $23,845, including shipping, before federal tax credit or other incentives, and adding more standard features. It's the latest big price slice on electrified vehicles, which haven't sold as well as their makers expected. Makers of the Ford Focus EV, Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt all have cut prices thousands of dollars recently. And the $42,275 starting price of the BMW i3 electric is lower than some in the EV community forecast. Electric-car fans see that as a sign of healthy competition that's sure to draw more buyers into the EV market. Skeptics interpret it as evidence nobody really wants an electric, and ever-lower prices are going to be necessary to provoke significant sales.
Source: USA Today
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Ford Redesigns Camaro-Chasing Mustang for Global Buyers

Almost 50 years after Ford Motor Co.'s first Mustang introduced Americans to the fast and affordable pony car, the automaker is counting on a new design it unveils on four continents tomorrow to spur global sales. Ford has kept a tight lid on its newest model, stoking speculation over how the automaker plans to handle a crucial tradeoff: honoring the look that has made the Mustang a classic, while also updating the car to compete with General Motors Co.'s more futuristic Chevrolet Camaro. Getting the balance right has big implications for Ford's rivalry with Chevrolet.
Source: Bloomberg
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Quotable
"Showroom traffic surged over the holiday weekend for Toyota, indicating good momentum we expect to continue through the end of the year and into 2014." 

   
-- Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager, commenting on strong auto sales in November, Automotive News, Dec. 3
NADA Market Beat
October Sales Up From Last Year
Chairman's Column
A Season of Thanks
Videos

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