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Inside this issue
GOP Slams Dodd-Frank Panel, Votes For Reform
Ford Closing in on Toyota as Favorite of Buyers
GM Begins Massive Auto Recall
Nissan Plans to Gear Up Production in the U.S.
Mazda Pins U.S. Growth Plan On Mexico Plant Shielded Against Yen
Former GM CEO Akerson Named to Lockheed Martin Board
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
GOP Slams Dodd-Frank Panel, Votes For Reform

The House voted Thursday to restructure a controversial government bureau created by the Dodd-Frank law, amid GOP accusations that the bureau is not responsive to Congress and plans to waste millions of dollars renovating its headquarters. Members voted 232-182 to pass the Consumer Financial Protection and Soundness Improvement Act, which would reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The CFPB was created to protect consumers from shady practices by credit card companies, mortgage lenders and other retail financial entities, a response to what many saw as abusive lending practices that led to the 2008 financial meltdown.

Republicans have had issues with the CFPB from the very beginning, including the recess appointment of its director, Richard Cordray. He was recess-appointed by President Obama when the Senate was not in recess, a move the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington invalidated. Cordray was finally confirmed by the Senate, but Republicans continue to argue that a single director has too much authority to oversee consumer financial regulations, and that a it should be led by a commission. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said the bureau Cordray leads has vast powers over consumers, and is threatening rules so restrictive that people will not be able to borrow as freely.

"When it comes to our credit cards, our auto loans, our mortgages, the CFPB has unbridled, discretionary power not only to make them less available and more expensive, but to absolutely take them away," he said on the House floor. "It can actually abuse consumers, taking away their home ownership opportunities." Other Republicans agreed that the CFPB is currently acting like a partisan entity that needs to have some kind of check on its authority to regulate and examine people's financial data.

To get at these issues, the GOP bill would take the CFPB out of the Federal Reserve system, subject it to the regular appropriations process, and change its leadership to a five-member board with staggered terms. Republicans said that would make the entity far more responsible to Congress, and more open to moderate regulations that aren't dictated by a single party.
Source: The Hill

Editor's note: NADA sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in support of H.R. 3193, a bill to bring greater accountability to the CFPB. During the debate on the legislation, several House members spoke on the House floor regarding the bureau’s effort to eliminate a consumer’s right to negotiate a better interest rate on an auto loan offered by a dealership. The White House has indicated that, even if passed by the Senate, President Obama would veto H.R. 3193. To view NADA’s letter to Congress on H.R. 3193, click here. For talking points and more information on the issue, visit www.nada.org/cfpb.

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Ford Closing in on Toyota as Favorite of Buyers

The Ford brand is closing in on Toyota as the favorite of retail auto buyers, a sign of rising popularity of the Fusion mid-size car and Escape sport-utility vehicle, and of growing dismay with the Japanese manufacturer. Toyota Motor Corp.'s namesake brand, a default choice of a generation of car buyers who admired its high quality, lost ground during the past six years amid recalls, natural disasters and stiffer competition. Its share of the U.S. retail market fell to 13.5 percent last year from 16.3 percent in 2008, according to data provided to Bloomberg by IHS Automotive using Polk vehicle-registration records. Toyota's 2.8 percentage point loss matched the gain of Ford Motor Co.'s main brand, to a 13.2 percent share, over the same period.
Source: Bloomberg

Editor's note: Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of The Americas for Ford Motor Co., is a featured industry speaker at the 2014 Automotive Forum in New York City on Tuesday, April 15. The Automotive Forum, presented by NADA and J.D. Power, includes several speaker and panel sessions. The full-day forum, hosted by the New York International Auto Show, also includes a macro-economic overview from IHS chief economist Nariman Behravesh and an industry briefing on North America from John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power, and more. Registration is now open. The early registration discount ends March 11. Click here for the complete agenda or to register.

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GM Begins Massive Auto Recall

Auto maker says Delphi, supplier of faulty parts, will provide replacements

For the second time in less than a week, General Motors Co. apologized for a massive ignition-switch recall and said it is racing to get replacements to dealers, although it couldn't yet say when repairs would begin. Meanwhile, the company could face a fine of up to $35 million if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determines that GM failed to issue the recall quickly after determining that the switches were faulty. Thirteen deaths have been linked to the problem, in which a switch can suddenly turn off when jarred, shutting down air bags and the engine. The company recently ordered a world-wide recall of 1.6 million cars covering models dating to 2003. NHTSA confirmed on Wednesday that it has begun a "timeliness query" to determine if GM took the appropriate steps leading up to issuing a recall of some models of the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5s last month. The auto maker expanded the recall this week to include some Saturn, Solstice and HHR models.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Nissan Plans to Gear Up Production in the U.S.

Nissan Motor Co. is doubling down on the United States, planning an aggressive expansion of its manufacturing presence in this country as part of new strategy to boost the company's reputation with dealers and consumers, along with profits. Fred Diaz, Nissan's vice president in charge of sales and marketing for the United States, told reporters Thursday that his company's goal is to produce 85 percent of the vehicles it sells here in this country “in the very near future.”
Source: The Detroit News

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Mazda Pins U.S. Growth Plan On Mexico Plant Shielded Against Yen

Mazda Motor Corp., Japan's most export-dependent automaker, is staking its U.S. future on the new factory in Mexico that will be its first wholly owned plant in North America. The $770 million facility opening Thursday will shield Hiroshima, Japan-based Mazda from exchange-rate swings between the yen and the U.S. dollar, consultant IHS Automotive says. Mazda will also be able to cut shipping costs to the U.S. and benefit from Mexico's web of trade deals covering more than 40 countries. Mazda joins a rush by Japanese automakers to expand in Mexico following plant openings by Nissan Motor Co. in November and Honda Motor Co. last week.
Source: Bloomberg
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Former GM CEO Akerson Named to Lockheed Martin Board

Former General Motors Co. Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson has been named to the board of Lockheed Martin Corp. Akerson, who retired from GM in mid January after serving three years leading the company, is joining the Maryland-based security and aerospace's board effective immediately. Akerson, 65, has a management background with communications and technology firms and worked in private equity before joining GM. He also serves a director of the United States Naval Academy Foundation and previously served on the boards of American Express Co. and AOL Time Warner.
Source: The Detroit News
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More Articles
 
Quotable
"It underscores the importance of North America." 

   
--- Jeremy Barnes, a spokesman for Mazda, said in regard to the company's plant in Mexico, Bloomberg, Feb. 27
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