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Inside this issue
NADA Predicts 16.4 Million U.S. Light Vehicles Sales in 2014
What to Expect From This Year's Detroit Auto Show
GM Ready to Tell Their Story with 'Strongest Lineup Ever'
As Automakers Use More Aluminum, Can Providers Expand Fast Enough?
Chrysler Rating Raised One Level to BB- by S&P After Fiat Deal
UK Car Maker Jaguar Land Rover Reports Record Sales in 2013, with Strong Demand From Asia
Detroit Auto Show Concepts That Made It - Or Not
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
NADA Predicts 16.4 Million U.S. Light Vehicles Sales in 2014

The National Automobile Dealers Association predicts 16.4 million new cars and light trucks will be purchased or leased in the U.S. this year, a 5.1 percent increase from 2013. “Consumers will be far better off in 2014 than last year,” said NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly. “Employment is improving. Debt has been reduced, and home prices across all regions of the country will remain stable or will rise, yielding a positive wealth effect.” Last year, 15.6 million new light vehicles were sold in the U.S. It marked the fifth straight year of a long recovery from the global financial crisis and the automotive bankruptcies. “There is considerable upside potential in 2014 as economic activity is expected to increase as the year progresses,” he added. “Gross domestic product will grow about 2.8 percent this year, stability in housing with concurrent growth in employment and manufacturing all lead to a positive outlook for 2014.”
Source: NADAFrontPage.com
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What to Expect From This Year's Detroit Auto Show

From brawny pickup trucks and growling high-performance cars to economical subcompacts, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit likely will have something that appeals to every driver. Show organizers expect more than 50 new model introductions when the show kicks off Monday and Tuesday with 5,000 journalists attending the press days. What the automakers introduce is crucial because sales growth is starting to slow and new models tend to capture more buyers than older ones. Ford is expected to steal the show with a new version of the F-150 pickup truck, but there are other notable cars and trucks coming. Chrysler will roll out a new 200 midsize sedan, a crucial vehicle in the company's plan to keep its sales growing. Honda plans to unveil a more modern version of its Fit subcompact, while new sports cars are expected from BMW, Toyota and Lexus. Here's a look at what's expected from the show, which opens to the public on Saturday, Jan. 18....
Source: The Associated Press

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GM Ready to Tell Their Story with 'Strongest Lineup Ever'

With General Motors Co. out from under government ownership and no longer suffering the aftereffects of the economic downturn, the automaker says its ready to use the North American International Auto Show as a way to show off the company's biggest, most powerful and best vehicles they have to offer. “I think there's more optimism for sure this year, but it comes with the knowledge that this is a highly competitive industry,” said David Barnas, group manager for global design for auto shows. “We feel we have the strongest lineup ever and NAIAS gives us an opportunity to tell that story.” A peek into the General Motors Co. display at Cobo Center Saturday indicated the automaker is letting the product speak for itself.
Source: The Detroit News

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As Automakers Use More Aluminum, Can Providers Expand Fast Enough?

With automakers' demand for aluminum growing explosively as they seek to improve fuel efficiency, aluminum providers are selling out their automotive capacity almost as fast as they can build new plants, raising the question of whether some car makers could be caught short in the future. The U.S. market for aluminum sheet is expected to be up fivefold this year from 2012 with the development of vehicles like Ford Motor Co.'s next generation F-150 full-size pickup truck, a more aluminum intensive model that is expected to be shown Monday at the Detroit auto show. Demand is expected to continue its surge as automakers look to slash vehicle weights to boost fuel efficiency, industry executives and analysts said.
Source: Reuters

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Chrysler Rating Raised One Level to BB- by S&P After Fiat Deal

Chrysler Group LLC's credit rating was raised one grade yesterday to BB- by Standard & Poor's Corp., after majority owner Fiat SpA reached a deal to acquire the rest of the U.S. carmaker. Fiat said on Jan. 1 that it will acquire the final 41.5 percent of Chrysler from a United Auto Workers health-care trust for $4.35 billion. S&P said it increased Chrysler's rating from B+ to BB-, three levels below investment grade, because it will be a Fiat subsidiary once the acquisition closes. Fiat Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne has revived Chrysler, which he also leads, from its bankruptcy in 2009 with 45 straight monthly sales gains on the back of successful new autos, including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Jeep Cherokee and the Ram 1500 pickup. “We now assess Chrysler as a 'core' subsidiary of Fiat under our group rating methodology and, therefore, have made equal the ratings on both entities,” S&P said in a statement.
Source: Bloomberg
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UK Car Maker Jaguar Land Rover Reports Record Sales in 2013, with Strong Demand From Asia

Jaguar Land Rover says it sold a record number of vehicles globally in 2013, with 30 percent growth in the Asian market. The U.K.-based company, which is owned by India's Tata Motors, said full year retail sales totaled 425,006 vehicles, up 19 percent from the previous year. Most of the cars sold were from the Land Rover brand, which include Range Rovers. The company said the U.S., Germany and India were the top markets for its luxury Jaguar cars. The car maker said Sunday that sales were up 21 percent in North America, 14 percent in the U.K., and 6 percent in the rest of Europe.
Source: Associated Press
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Detroit Auto Show Concepts That Made It - Or Not

Prototype cars — also called “concepts” — appear at every auto show. They're a way for companies to test ideas, gauge reaction and hint at future designs. Audi, Nissan, Kia, Volkswagen and others will have concept cars at this year's Detroit auto show, which opens to the public Jan. 18. Some will be nearly identical to the cars that wind up in dealerships; others will be more outlandish. Click here for some past prototypes that debuted in Detroit over the last decade, and what happened afterwards.
Source: Associated Press
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Quotable

“Consumers will be far better off in 2014 than last year. Employment is improving. Debt has been reduced, and home prices across all regions of the country will remain stable or will rise, yielding a positive wealth effect.”

   ---  NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly, commenting on his prediction of 16.4 million new cars and light trucks to be purchased or leased in the U.S. in 2014, NADAFrontPage.com, Jan. 10

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