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Inside this issue
New GM Ignitions Slowly Trickle In; Some Dealers Out of Loaners
Average Fuel Economy of New U.S. Vehicles Rises to 25.4 MPG
Mercedes Has Best Monthly Sales Ever With 13% March Gain
Toyota's Lentz Seeks Fuel Cell Sedan Supply Boost to U.S.
U.S. Launches Distracted Driving Crackdown
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
New GM Ignitions Slowly Trickle In; Some Dealers Out of Loaners

Fewer than 2 percent of ignition switches needed to fix 2.59 million recalled General Motors Co. cars will be available next week at dealerships — and dealers are unsure when and how many replacement parts they will get. GM says about 47,000 replacement parts are in the first shipment, according to a filing this week by GM as part of a class action lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Texas. Few parts could create a backlog of customers who take their recalled cars into dealerships. GM has promised to provide loaner cars to owners who are afraid to drive recalled cars that are awaiting new switches, but some car owners told The Detroit News and claimed in social media posts that dealers cannot offer them loaners, because their fleets are depleted.
Source: The Detroit News

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Average Fuel Economy of New U.S. Vehicles Rises to 25.4 MPG

The average fuel economy of new U.S. light vehicles sold in March rose to 25.4 mpg, according to University of Michigan researchers, the highest since the researchers began collecting data in October 2007. The fuel economy of new U.S. light trucks, cars, SUVs and vans sold last month rose 0.3 mpg from the revised figure for February and is 5.3 mpg higher than the October 2007 average, according to a monthly report from the university's Transportation Research Institute. Average sales-weighted fuel economy was calculated using the monthly sales of individual models and the combined city-highway fuel economy ratings from the EPA Fuel Economy Guide for each model.
Source: Automotive News
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Mercedes Has Best Monthly Sales Ever With 13% March Gain

Mercedes-Benz, the world's third-largest maker of luxury cars, sold more vehicles in a single month than ever before as demand surged for its new compact cars and the top-of-the-line S-Class. Deliveries rose 13 percent in March to 158,523 cars and sport-utility vehicles, contributing to the best first quarter in the brand's history, the division of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler AG said in a statement. The stock rose to the highest in more than six years.
Source: Bloomberg
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Toyota's Lentz Seeks Fuel Cell Sedan Supply Boost to U.S.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s North American chief, preparing to sell Camry-sized hydrogen sedans next year, said he's “bullish” about advances in the company's fuel cell system and wants more U.S. supply of the Japan-built cars. Toyota, the world's largest seller of hybrid-electric autos, is to sell the as-yet unnamed four-door model in California in 2015, as well as in Japan and Europe. Its performance, packaging and other attributes will generate demand for the car, North American Chief Executive Officer Jim Lentz said yesterday, without providing a sales goal. “After we've seen the product, understand its range, its driving dynamics, its refueling, we're a lot more bullish than Japan -- probably about fivefold more bullish,” Lentz said in an interview at the Wall Street Journal's ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara, California. “It's just a question of how many can be produced now.” Toyota, Hyundai Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. are readying new hydrogen cars -- due this year and next -- that the companies say match the zero-emissions of battery-powered vehicles and offer greater driving range and faster refueling. California, with the toughest U.S. emissions rules and plans for a statewide network of hydrogen fuel stations, will be the primary battleground for the vehicles.
Source: Bloomberg
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U.S. Launches Distracted Driving Crackdown

The U.S. Transportation Department kicked off the first-ever national distracted driving awareness month, and will fund nationwide advertising and law enforcement on texting and other dangerous behavior behind the wheel. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx launched the new ad campaign “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” at the department's headquarters on Thursday. The ad campaign will run from April 7-15, which coincides with a nationwide law enforcement crackdown in states with distracted driving bans. “This campaign puts distracted driving on par with our efforts to fight drunk driving or to encourage seatbelt use,” Foxx said. “Across the country, we're putting distracted drivers on notice: If you're caught texting while driving, the message you receive won't be from your cell phone, but from law enforcement — U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”
Source: The Detroit News
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Quotable

"We are continuing the success story of the record year 2013 with additional new products."

      ---  Ola Kaellenius, head of Mercedes sales, commenting on the automaker's 13 percent sales gain in March, Bloomberg, April 4  

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