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Inside this issue
Bill to Reduce Auto Dealership Paperwork Passes House
GM Sees 'Huge Opportunity' in Returning Lessees
Nissan's Ghosn Sees U.S. Leaf Sales Doubling After '13 Surge
Mexico Auto Output, Exports Hit Record for 4th Year
China's Auto Sales Rise 15.7 Percent in 2013
Audi Joins Mercedes to Lure Mainstream With Cheaper Cars
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Bill to Reduce Auto Dealership Paperwork Passes House

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday by a vote of 405 - 0 to repeal an unnecessary paperwork burden on small business auto dealerships. The bill, H.R. 724, eliminates an outdated federal mandate requiring auto dealers to certify that new vehicles are Clean Air Act compliant. NADA strongly supports this bipartisan legislation. The U.S. Senate will take up the measure next. “All new cars and trucks are Clean Air Act compliant before they leave the factory, so requiring dealerships to complete a form essentially recertifying these vehicles is unnecessary,” said David Westcott, chairman of NADA and a Buick and GMC dealer in Burlington, N.C.

Westcott added that new-car and -truck buyers can find documentation of a vehicle's Clean Air Act compliance under the hood of the vehicle, on the Internet or in the owner's manual and supplements, making additional government paperwork given by the dealer superfluous. The bill, introduced by Reps. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, and Gary Peters, D-Mich., repeals an obsolete 1977 law. “NADA commends Reps. Latta and Peters for their bipartisan leadership to eliminate this redundant mandate on small business,” Westcott added.
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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GM Sees 'Huge Opportunity' in Returning Lessees

General Motors dealerships should experience a sharp uptick in returning lease customers this year, providing a potential boost to new-vehicle and F&I sales. "Our lack of returning lessees has been a bit of an issue for us in '13," Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations for GM, said in a conference call for investors last week. "They started coming back around November, and they continue to grow. That's going to be a huge opportunity for us in 2014." Returnees should include a growing number of Buick and Cadillac lease customers. Lease customers are more loyal to a brand and more loyal to the selling dealer, compared with cash or loan customers, notes Eric Lyman, vice president of partner development and editorial at ALG Inc.
Source: Automotive News

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Nissan's Ghosn Sees U.S. Leaf Sales Doubling After '13 Surge

Nissan Motor Co., which reported record U.S. sales of Leaf hatchbacks in 2013, is optimistic that the world's most prolific electric-carmaker can soon double its deliveries, said Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn. Sales of the battery-powered Leaf jumped 130 percent last year to 22,610, aided by 2,529 deliveries in December, the most ever in a single month for the Yokohama, Japan-based carmaker. That figure should keep rising, Ghosn said in a CNBC interview [Wednesday]. “We are now on a trend of 3,000 cars a month in the U.S., which is about 36,000 cars” a year, Ghosn said. “The next step is moving up to 4,000 a month, which is going to be approximately 50,000,” he said, without setting a target date.
Source: Bloomberg

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Mexico Auto Output, Exports Hit Record for 4th Year

Mexican auto production and exports rose last year to record highs on strong demand from the United States and Canada, the Mexican Auto Industry Association said on Wednesday. Production rose 1.7 percent to 2,933,465 units while exports notched 2,423,084 units, a 3 percent increase over 2012, AMIA said. The increases mark a fourth consecutive year of records for both production and exports, data shows. "Mexico again reaches a record figure and again wins eighth place among world vehicle manufacturers," Eduardo Solis, president of AMIA, told a press conference. He added that Mexico was the world's fourth-biggest auto exporter.
Source: Reuters
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China's Auto Sales Rise 15.7 Percent in 2013

China's auto sales rose 15.7 percent last year to 17.9 million vehicles, boosted by strong demand in December, an industry group reported Thursday. Sales growth in China, the biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold, has slowed but still outstrips Western markets. Automakers including General Motors and Toyota reported record China sales in 2013 and BMW said this country became its biggest market.
Source: Associated Press
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Audi Joins Mercedes to Lure Mainstream With Cheaper Cars

Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are rolling out cheaper models in the U.S. to woo customers from mass-market rivals like Ford Motor Co. Audi, which will present the A3 sedan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week, will offer the car for $29,900 when it goes on sale in the spring. That would match the price of the Mercedes CLA sedan, which has been on sale since September, as the German brands push models that cost less than half their flagship cars. Germany's high-end automakers are increasingly vying with mainstream competitors for buyers of models such as the $26,780 Ford Taurus and $30,545 Chrysler 300. Their aim is to lure a broader base of customers and keep them loyal as the companies target global sales records.
Source: Bloomberg
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Quotable

"NADA commends Reps. Latta and Peters for their bipartisan leadership to eliminate this redundant mandate on small business."

   --- NADA Chairman David Westcott, commenting on bill H.R. 724, which repeals an unnecessary paperwork burden on auto dealerships, NADAFrontPage.com, Jan. 8

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