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Inside this issue
2014 NA Output Set for Third-Best Finish
Fuel Economy of New Vehicles Bought Hits All-Time High
Record CPO Month Beats Prior High by 15,000 Units
Fiat May Sell Up to $1.04 Billion in Stock in U.S. Shift
Mercedes-Benz Sales Rise Despite Weak German Demand
Michigan AG Schuette Takes Leading Role in Multistate GM Investigation
Forget Driverless Cars, Toyota Wants High Tech to Make Drivers Safer
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Top Stories
2014 NA Output Set for Third-Best Finish

Just five years after falling to its lowest level in the past 29 years, North American car and truck production is likely to breech the 17.0 million-unit mark for only the third time in history. Having run at a rapid pace for most of the year, car and truck assembly plants now are scheduled to build 4,443,000 units in the fourth quarter, a 5.6% increase over like 2013's 4,172,000 completions. The strong fourth-quarter slate is enough to push vehicle output to 17.3 million-plus units, a 5.3% gain on 2013's 4,112,000 completions, to third position behind the record 17,659,700 units built in 2000 and the 17,616,121 vehicles turned out in 1999. The industry's strong finish would come just five years after output sank to just 8,761,823 units in 2009, at the height of the economic meltdown.
Source: WardsAuto
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Fuel Economy of New Vehicles Bought Hits All-Time High

The fuel economy of light vehicles purchased in the U.S. during August hit an all-time high, a University of Michigan report said Thursday. The average window-sticker rating of cars, SUVs, vans and pickups purchased last month was 25.8 mpg, up from 25.6 in July and up even more significantly from 24.9 a year ago, according to the monthly report. Average stated fuel economy has increased 5.7 mpg since the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute's first full month of monitoring in October 2007, the report said.
Source: Automotive News
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Record CPO Month Beats Prior High by 15,000 Units

August represented the best-ever certified pre-owned sales month in history, besting the prior record CPO sales total by more than 15,000 units. According to Autodata Corp., there were 222,675 certified pre-owned sales in August, making it the strongest month of all time for CPO sales. The previous record was set in May, when dealers moved 207,371 CPO vehicles.
Source: Auto Remarketing
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Fiat May Sell Up to $1.04 Billion in Stock in U.S. Shift

Fiat SpA may sell as much as $1.04 billion in shares to reduce debt and gain local investors after the carmaker formed from merging with Chrysler Group LLC lists stock in the U.S., according to Bloomberg News calculations. The company may have as many as 104.2 million shares available for sale when the newly created Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV starts New York Stock Exchange trading later this year, based on cash-exit rights investors have exercised and earlier plans to dispose of treasury stock.
Source: Bloomberg
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Mercedes-Benz Sales Rise Despite Weak German Demand

Buoyant demand in U.S. and China

Mercedes-Benz sold nearly 10% more vehicles in August than a year ago though a fall in demand in Germany pegged back growth from the faster pace set earlier in the year when new luxury models came on sale. Mercedes-Benz, the wholly-owned unit of German truck and car maker Daimler AG, said on Friday that sales in August rose 9.7% to 118,887 units, leaving sales up 12% for the first eight months of the year at 1.03 million vehicles. While sales in Germany, Mercedes-Benz's main market, fell 6.2%, they rose 4.8% overall in Europe, with a gain of 9.4% in the buoyant U.S. car market, and an 18% jump in China where Mercedes-Benz has recently revamped its sales and marketing operations. "We therefore continue to be on course to make 2014 another record year," said Mercedes Benz sales chief Ola Källenius said in a statement.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Michigan AG Schuette Takes Leading Role in Multistate GM Investigation

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says the state is taking a leading role in the ongoing investigation into General Motors Co.'s recall and safety procedures. In a Detroit News telephone interview Thursday, Schuette confirmed for the first time that Michigan is among the states investigating the Detroit automaker and its recall of 2.6 million cars with ignition switch defects that are linked to at least 13 deaths and 54 crashes. GM said in July that 45 states were investigating its conduct. The U.S. Attorney's Office in New York, aided by the FBI and a federal grand jury and the Securities and Exchange Commission, also is investigating.
Source: The Detroit News
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Forget Driverless Cars, Toyota Wants High Tech to Make Drivers Safer

The technology for automated vehicles is developing at breakneck speed, but the message from Toyota executives is this: Don't surrender your driver's license yet. The Japanese automaker is not trying to deliver a driverless vehicle. Rather it sees automated technology as a way to make vehicles safer by allowing sensors and radars and cameras to survey surroundings and apply corrective steering or braking to avoid collisions. A driverless vehicle may be in the very distant future, said Seigo Kuzumaki, Toyota's deputy chief safety technology officer. Next year, Toyota will introduce the next generation of driver-assist technologies, likely on a Lexus model. Toyota executives previewed much of this know-how Thursday in Ann Arbor [Mich.].
Source: Detroit Free Press
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Quotable
"We continue to be on course to make 2014 another record year."

   --- Ola Källenius, Mercedes-Benz sales chief, commenting on strong sales in August, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 5

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