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Inside this issue
What Feds' Focus on Lightweight Metals Means for Autos
Pricey Hydrogen Cars to Challenge Electric
Mexico Becoming a Driving Force in Auto Production
Honda Creates New Acura Planning Arm to Lead Brand Overhaul
BMW Plans to Double Engine-Production Capacity in China
Fox Dealership, National Association Donate CPR Training Device to Auburn Community Hospital
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
What Feds' Focus on Lightweight Metals Means for Autos

The White House on Tuesday plans to announce a $140 million project meant to speed the development of new lightweight metals and other materials—a program that could translate into more fuel-efficient cars and aircraft. The new Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing Innovation (LM3I) Institute is expected to generate as many as 10,000 jobs—but the payoff could be significantly greater long term if it yields a more competitive U.S. manufacturing base. It's one of three manufacturing institutes that President Barack Obama introduced during his State of the Union speech last month. Based near Detroit, the project will receive $70 million in federal funding with a matching $70 million coming from other sources. A total of 34 companies, nine universities and 17 other groups—including Alcoa, General Electric, Honda, the universities of Michigan and Kentucky, and the American Foundry Society—will participate. The project will "focus on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing," according to the White House.

There's a growing interest in the use of aluminum, titanium and high-strength steel as well as more exotic materials such as carbon fiber, in the aerospace and automotive industries. The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, for example, is produced largely out of carbon fiber. Ford, meanwhile, will shave as much as 700 pounds off the 2015 remake of its F-150 pickup by switching the body from steel to aluminum—adding perhaps 5 mpg in the process.
Source: CNBC
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Pricey Hydrogen Cars to Challenge Electric

Toyota, others chase emissions credits that can offset gasoline-powered vehicles

Under pressure from regulators, several auto makers are preparing to roll out emissions-free cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells instead of gasoline engines. Three car makers have disclosed plans to lease a small number of new vehicles in California and in a few countries in Europe by the end of next year. South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. is expected to be first out of the gate this spring, followed next year by Japanese auto makers Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. California wants at least 15% of new vehicles sold in the state to produce zero emissions by 2025, and its regulations require auto makers to sell electric vehicles or fuel cell vehicles to meet the requirement. Its mandate means that fuel cell cars will get double the emission credits compared to electric vehicles. The tests are an effort to determine how pricey hydrogen vehicles will compete with far less expensive gasoline- or diesel-powered cars. The biggest problem so far is their cost. Next is figuring out how to get the cars to fueling stations, where they are pumped with compressed hydrogen.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Mexico Becoming a Driving Force in Auto Production

Mexico accounts for about 18% of North American auto production, and auto industry employment there has soared 46% to about 580,000 jobs since 2009

The first Honda Fit rolled off the assembly line Friday at a new $800-million factory near Celaya, Mexico, a symbol of the growing might of the country's auto industry. Honda's U.S. factories spit out hundreds of thousands of Accords and Civics each year. But when the automaker redesigned the Fit for North America, it turned to Mexico for an increasingly skilled workforce and favorable export rules. Mexico already accounts for about 18% of North American auto production, but that's expected to jump to 25% by 2020 as automakers pour billion of dollars into factories, said Joe Langley, an analyst at IHS Automotive. The nation has joined Germany, Japan and the U.S as one of the heavyweights of auto production, he said.
Source: The Los Angeles Times
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Honda Creates New Acura Planning Arm to Lead Brand Overhaul

Honda Motor Co., which saw a 10 percent drop in U.S. Acura sedan sales last year, is creating a new group to plan business development for the premium brand. Erik Berkman, president of Honda R&D Americas, will become executive vice president for the North American unit and division manager of the newly created Acura Business Planning Office, Honda said in a statement. The Tokyo-based company didn't provide details on how the division will operate. In December Tetsuo Iwamura, Honda's executive vice president and current North American chief, said focusing on Acura, particularly its sedan lineup, was a top priority for the company. A 10 percent drop in combined sales of Acura's ILX, TSX, TL and RLX sedans kept Honda from a goal of achieving record sales in 2013 and overshadowed gains for the brand's more successful MDX and RDX sport-utility vehicles.
Source: Bloomberg
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BMW Plans to Double Engine-Production Capacity in China

Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) is expanding engine production in China to potentially double capacity as it seeks to close the gap with Audi in the world's largest car market. BMW and its joint-venture partner Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. plan to make as many as 400,000 engines a year at a new facility in Shenyang, the Munich-based carmaker said in a statement to Bloomberg News in response to questions. The expansion includes a foundry as part of its push to boost local content. BMW, the best-selling luxury-car brand globally, trails Audi in China. The additional capacity will help BMW lower shipping costs and avoid taxes on imports.
Source: Bloomberg
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Fox Dealership, National Association Donate CPR Training Device to Auburn Community Hospital

Tammy Sunderlin, Auburn Community Hospital's director of nursing, knows teaching CPR is well-worth the effort. "It is the single most easiest class to give and learn that does the most," she said. "It can save lives." On Feb. 19, the National Automobile Dealership Association's charitable foundation and Auburn's Fox Dealerships donated a Little Anne AED Training System device to ACH to help the Auburn hospital train both its staff and the community. Bill Fox, a partner in Fox Dealerships, said the association's charitable foundation has donated 4,700 CPR training devices since creating its Medical Grants program in 1975 — aiding in the CPR training of more than 2 million people. As vice chairman of the NADA and a Cayuga County native, Fox said he was happy to help his community. "One of the benefits of this business is we know each other and we help each other," he said. "I'm from Auburn, and hopefully that helps Auburn."
Source: The Citizen (Auburn, N.Y.)
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Quotable
"One of the benefits of this business is we know each other and we help each other."

   
--- Bill Fox, NADA vice chairman and partner in Fox Dealerships in Auburn, N.Y., commenting on his recent donation of a CPR training unit through the NADA Foundation, The Citizen, Feb. 25
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