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Inside this issue
FTC Cracks Down on Deceptive Auto Dealer Ads
Chinese Car Makers Not Ready for U.S. Market
U.S. Study of Automotive Location Data Raises Privacy Concerns
Turning Drivers into Geeks: Dealers Debate Need for Technology Specialists
Detroit 3 Offer Proposal on Currency Manipulation
Fiat May Issue Bond to Boost Liquidity After Chrysler Merger, Marchionne Tells Paper
Five New Vehicles to Watch at Detroit Auto Show
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
FTC Cracks Down on Deceptive Auto Dealer Ads

Nine auto dealers around the country have agreed to settlements with the Federal Trade Commission as part of an agency crackdown on deceptive auto dealer advertising. The alleged misrepresentations varied from deceptive low-payment deals to a sweepstakes for prizes that didn't exist when customers came to the dealership to collect them. Reached for comment, the National Automobile Dealers Association issued a statement: "While we have not reviewed the FTC's proposed order, these allegations, if true, highlight the need for diligence by all auto retailers on selecting advertising vendors and ensuring that their legal counsel review all advertising."
Source: USA Today

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Chinese Car Makers Not Ready for U.S. Market

Safety, emissions standards and dealer networks present steep hurdles to entry

When top executives from the world's major auto makers descend on Detroit for the U.S.'s largest auto show next week, Chinese auto executive Wang Shunsheng will be attending a table-tennis tournament in Dubai sponsored by his company. "We're not going to Detroit this year," said Mr. Wang, head of international business at Guangzhou Automobile Group Motor Co., China's sixth largest auto maker. Entering the U.S. market "requires a lot of study and investigation and we're still in the process." GAC Motor isn't the only Chinese auto company shunning this year's U.S. show. For the first time since Chinese auto maker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. debuted at the show in 2006, no Chinese car company will hold an exhibit this year. Five years ago, many Chinese auto makers were hatching ambitious plans for going global. While some have been stepping up efforts to build their presence in emerging markets, for the most part they have fallen silent on their ambitions tapping demand in developed economies.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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U.S. Study of Automotive Location Data Raises Privacy Concerns

The government's research arm found that data-hungry in-car location services could use some improvement in the privacy and consumer notification departments. The Government Accountability Office's report prompted U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., the longtime comedian and political pundit, to call on Congress to pass a location-privacy bill. "Companies providing in-car location services are taking their customers' privacy seriously -- but this report shows that Minnesotans and people across the country need much more information about how the data are being collected, what they're being used for, and how they're being shared with third parties," Franken said in a statement.
Source: Advertising Age

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Turning Drivers into Geeks: Dealers Debate Need for Technology Specialists

Not all dealers agree on the best way to teach car buyers how to use the latest technology in their new cars, pickups and crossovers. The vehicles unveiled during the 2014 North American International Auto Show [in Detroit] are certain to sport even higher levels of technology than their predecessors. And some car buyers will need a little help in navigating the technologies to get the most out of them, dealers agree. But whether a need exists for dedicated technology specialists to provide that education to consumers at the dealerships is up for debate.
Source: Automotive News
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Detroit 3 Offer Proposal on Currency Manipulation

A trade group representing Detroit's Big Three automakers on Thursday unveiled a proposal to prevent currency manipulation in a proposed free trade pact. Automakers, the United Auto Workers union and many members of Congress are making a big push to convince the Obama administration to include in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The U.S., Japan, Mexico, Canada and eight other nations have been negotiating a Trans-Pacific Partnership that would create a free trade zone accounting for 40 percent of the world's economy. Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam are also part of the talks. The American Automotive Policy Council offered a proposal, based on International Monetary Fund commitments already made by all TPP member countries, "will result in a trade pact that ensures that currency manipulation practices by a TPP members do not frustrate the market access commitments set forth in the final agreement," the group said.
Source: The Detroit News

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Fiat May Issue Bond to Boost Liquidity After Chrysler Merger, Marchionne Tells Paper

Automaker will focus on Italy-based Alfa revamp to return Fiat to profit

Fiat Group could launch a convertible bond to increase its liquidity after its $4.35 billion deal to buy the rest of Chrysler Group, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told an Italian newspaper. Fiat will also focus its European strategy on revamping its Alfa Romeo brand after its planned merger with Chrysler and will keep production of the marque in Italy as it seeks to boost its European operations and protect jobs, Marchionne told La Repubblica in an interview published today. He said a mandatory convertible bond could be an "appropriate measure" to finance investments following the deal announced Jan. 1 for Fiat to buy the 41.5 percent stake in Chrysler it does not already own.
Source: Automotive News
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Five New Vehicles to Watch at Detroit Auto Show

Whether its a pickup truck or a sports car, the new vehicles are sure to shake the industry

The 25th annual North American International Auto Show starting Monday in Detroit will feature introductions from virtually every major automaker. Some unveilings, such as the new editions of the Ford F-Series pickup and Chrysler 200 midsize sedan, are sure to command huge attention. Others will be less dramatic: refreshes or new versions of existing vehicles or niche products. All together, they'll also show more of the sea change underway in the auto industry. Virtually every new vehicle will be lighter and get better fuel economy than the one they replace. Click here for five key vehicles to look for.
Source: USA Today
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Quotable

"That keeps the salesperson engaged with the customer — which is very important, especially as that person down the line says, 'I'm going to buy a second or third car.' "

   --- Carl Galeana, owner and president of Galeana Automotive Group with dealerships in Florida, Michigan and South Carolina, commenting on the benefit of teaching car buyers how to use the latest vehicle technology, Automotive News, Jan. 10

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