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Inside this issue
Ford Claims No. 1 Spot in North American Auto Sales
Want to Snag a Year-End Bargain? Try These Seven Oversupplied Cars
U.S. Home Prices Continued to Rise in October
VW Diesels Win Some U.S. Converts
Why You Won't Be Driving an Electric Car in 2040
Cars on American Roads are Older Than Ever
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Ford Claims No. 1 Spot in North American Auto Sales

They’re still testing the ball before the big celebration in Times Square [tonight], and the industry won’t officially announce final 2013 sales numbers until later in the week – but no matter, Ford is already declaring victory, pronouncing its flagship Ford marque North America’s best-selling brand for the fourth year in a row. The maker notes it has a significant lead over second-place Toyota as it regains strength in parts of the country long dominated by imports. But at least one of the Detroit maker’s Japanese competitors has been downplaying the sales numbers, claiming victory of its own. In fact, Honda isn’t ready to cede victory to Ford, its top U.S. executive John Mendel declaring: “A sale isn’t always a sale.” Honda contends that for the first 11 months of 2013 it actually held retail sales leadership in the U.S. market and is on track to end the year in first place.
Source: NBCNews.com/The Detroit Bureau

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Want to Snag a Year-End Bargain? Try These Seven Oversupplied Cars

Today ... may be [one] of the best days of 2013 to buy a car. Dealerships are always eager to swap inventory for cash at the end of a quarter, and in the final 48 hours of the year they particularly want to make room for the 2014 models that have been trickling in since September. And while demand has been strong all year, so too has production. At the beginning of December, North American dealers had more cars and trucks on hand than at any time in the past two years.
Source: Businessweek.com

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U.S. Home Prices Continued to Rise in October

S&P/Case-Shiller Report Indicates Gains May Not Be as Strong in 2014

U.S. home prices remained on an solid upward trend in October, according to a home price report released Tuesday. But price gains may not be as strong in 2014. The home price index covering 10 major U.S. cities increased 13.6% in the year ended in October, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price report. The 20-city price index also increased 13.6%, close to the 13.7% advance expected by economists. Both increases are the best since February 2006, the report said.
Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

Editor's note: The wealth effect of rising home prices is important to the psyche of consumers when determining whether to buy big-ticket items, such as automobiles, says NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly.

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VW Diesels Win Some U.S. Converts

Volkswagen hit a milestone this month, selling more than 100,000 diesel passenger cars in the United States this year for the first time. The VW brand and the upscale Audi division between them offer 12 diesel powered “TDI” models in the United States. Still, 100,000 isn’t much volume considering the U.S. market is expected to account for auto sales of 15.6 million units in 2013. Volkswagen Group of America, based in Herndon, Va., says that counting VW and Audi together, its diesel models account for more than 75 percent of U.S. diesel sales in passenger cars and SUVs — not counting pickups, which VW doesn’t offer.
Source: Forbes.com

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Why You Won't Be Driving an Electric Car in 2040

Despite lots of hype among techies and tree-huggers, the demand for electric vehicles has stalled at dismally low levels. Even as sales of electric cars inch up each year, the total number of plug-in vehicles sold since 2010 is less than 160,000 cars, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association. The bad news continues: a new federal report expects demand to remain that way for the next 25 years. By 2040, the sale of new electric vehicles and new hybrid electric vehicles will comprise about 1 percent each of all new car sales. That would be an increase from last year’s sales of electric vehicles, which were “negligible,” according to the report. The bleak outlook is bad news for car companies that have heavily invested in electric vehicles, and for the Obama administration, which has set an ambitious goal of having a million plug-in electric vehicles on the road by 2015.
Source: The Fiscal Times

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Cars on American Roads are Older Than Ever

Vehicles on U.S. roads have never been older, now averaging 11.3 years, as the quality of vehicle construction has improved and the economic slowdown of the past four years combined to keep people in vehicles longer, according to recent research from IHS Automotive. The average age of a vehicle will continue to increase over the next few years, but at a slower pace, rising to a forecasted 11.5 years through 2018. For car companies, the aging fleet has been good news in the past few years, as it has driven buyers to make new-vehicle purchases, helping the auto industry power through economic uncertainties.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Quotable
"The great news is that we are not overly reliant on any one segment – we're seeing double-digit sales growth in cars, trucks and utilities."

    -- John Felice, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service for Ford, commenting on its sales lead in North America, NBCNews.com/The Detroit Bureau, Dec. 30
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