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Inside this issue
Mexico to Trump Japan as No. 2 Car Exporter to US
Honda's Accord Beat Camry as Top U.S. Car in Individual Sales
GM Accused of Deadly Recall Delay
High Tech in Vehicles Puts Drivers' Privacy Up for Grabs
GM Says China Auto Sales May Rise as Much as 10% This Year
ADESA to Open More Online Auctions to More Dealers
Most Fuel Efficient New Cars
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Mexico to Trump Japan as No. 2 Car Exporter to US

Mexico is on track to replace the Asian automotive giant, Japan, as the second-largest exporter of cars to the United States by the end of the year. An $800 million Honda plant opening Friday in the central state of Guanajuato will produce about 200,000 Fit hatchbacks a year, helping push total Mexican car exports to the U.S. to 1.7 million in 2014, roughly 200,000 more than Japan, consulting firm IHS Automotive says. And, with another big plant starting next week, Mexico is expected to surpass Canada for the top spot by the end of 2015.
Source: Associated Press
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Honda's Accord Beat Camry as Top U.S. Car in Individual Sales

Honda Motor Co. said its Accord was the best-selling car to U.S. individual customers in 2013, surpassing Toyota Motor Corp.'s Camry, the leader in total volume to retail and fleet buyers for a 12th consecutive year. Americans bought 360,089 Accords last year, Honda said in a statement yesterday, citing registration data from IHS Automotive's Polk unit. Camry retail sales were 342,007 out of 408,484 total deliveries for the sedan, said Amanda Rice, a Toyota spokeswoman. Honda's strategy to concentrate on retail sales is paying off, as they aid resale values and typically are more profitable than those to fleets. Sales to individuals accounted for more than 98 percent of Accord's U.S. volume last year, compared with about 84 percent for the Camry. U.S. automakers generally rely on fleets for a quarter or more of sales.
Source: Bloomberg
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GM Accused of Deadly Recall Delay

General Motors has been accused of dragging its feet for a decade on recalling popular compact cars with a defect that was involved in the deaths of at least six people. A Georgia attorney is alleging that GM knew about the problem since 2004 but failed to undertake a recall until mid-February, when GM (GM, Fortune 500) recalled 778,000 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 cars. The cars' ignition switch could easily be bumped or shaken out of the "on" position. When that happened, the engine would shut off leading to a loss of power steering and braking assistance. Also, in the event of a collision, the airbags would not work. GM acknowledged at least 6 deaths resulting from the problem.
Source: CNNMoney
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High Tech in Vehicles Puts Drivers' Privacy Up for Grabs

Every time a motorist slides in behind the wheel, odds are that car or truck is gathering information: How aggressively the driver accelerated, whether the speed limit was observed, how hard the brake pedal was applied. And beyond driving habits, where and when the car was driven, what route was taken and whether the seat belt was buckled. Few laws or regulations address ownership of data collected by infotainment and navigation systems in dashboards and by electronic black boxes under hoods. Auto data privacy is the industry equivalent of the Wild West, according to automotive industry and law experts. Should drivers expect information collected by their cars to be private? Can police or other government agencies get their hands on recorded data after a crash to review drivers' whereabouts if they're suspected of a crime? What if automakers decided to sell details about driving habits to marketers who want to broadcast targeted ads as motorists run errands? These questions come at a time when many Americans are fearful of their privacy in the wake of National Security Agency leaks and the answers are largely unclear.
Source: The Detroit News
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GM Says China Auto Sales May Rise as Much as 10% This Year

General Motors Co. may see a 10 percent sales jump in China this year, matching its top-range forecast for industrywide growth in the nation, where consumers are buying more cars and the company plans 19 new or refreshed vehicles. GM, the second-largest foreign automaker in China, on that basis could see auto sales increase to about 3.5 million this year from 3.16 million in 2013. The Detroit-based company is forecasting an industry sales jump of 8 percent to 10 percent in the country. GM and its joint-venture partners this year are planning to introduce 19 new or refreshed vehicles in China, its largest market by volume, as the automaker looks to use gains from the country and North America to offset restructuring costs in Europe and elsewhere overseas.
Source: Bloomberg

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ADESA to Open More Online Auctions to More Dealers

ADESA Inc., the nation's second largest auto-auction company, this year will focus on building online auctions that are open to all dealers, its parent company's top executive said. Jim Hallet, CEO of KAR Auction Services Inc., said KAR's ADESA unit operates about 90 percent of the industry's private-label online auctions, ones that are open only to franchise dealers representing specific makes. But he noted that those online-only auctions' business model limits the number of dealers that can participate and that many participants' dealerships are located outside of the 500-mile radius where it makes sense to buy and ship vehicles. He said operating more auctions that are open to all dealers will increase ADESA's online buyer base and its revenue per vehicle sold.
Source: Automotive News
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Most Fuel Efficient New Cars

Choosing a model that can run farther on a tank of gas – or one that can avoid the pump altogether – can help save cash and the environment. With national average gasoline prices continuing to vacillate between $3.00 and $4.00 over the course of a given year, fuel economy remains a primary concern among car buyers, with 14 percent citing it as their singular consideration according to the National Automobile Dealers Association in McLean, Va. Vehicles spanning the spectrum are getting an infusion of fuel frugality these days, with even big pickup trucks and sports cars offering more-efficient engines that are nonetheless able to satisfy buyers' expectations. To help shoppers make informed decisions is this regard, the federal Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C., tracks and publishes standardized fuel economy ratings for all cars and light duty trucks sold in the U.S. each year. The agency recently released its lists of most – and least – fuel-efficient rides on the road for 2014 in a wide range of classes and sizes to meet most consumers' needs. Click here for a list of cars with the best and worst fuel economy.
Source: NWI Times (Munster, Ind.)
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Quotable
"Mexico is now one of the major global players in car manufacturing."

    -- Eduardo Solis, president of the Mexican Automotive Industry Association, commenting on Mexico being on track to replace Japan as the second-largest exporter of cars to the U.S., Associated Press, Feb. 21
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