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Inside this issue
NADA, NAMAD and AIADA Issue Statement on CFPB Proposal to Oversee Nonbank Auto Finance Companies
New Car Dealers of Utah Select NADART as Preferred Retirement Plan Provider
IHS Hikes 2014 U.S. Auto Sales Forecast to 16.4 Million
Five Years Later, Chrysler's Gamble on Ram Trucks is Paying Off
Toyota to Boost Mexico Truck Plant Capacity by 41%
Mercedes Sets Up Cloud Firewall to Halt Car-Data Hacking
Ford and Lincoln Get Connected with Apple's Siri
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
NADA, NAMAD and AIADA Issue Statement on CFPB Proposal to Oversee Nonbank Auto Finance Companies

In response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal to oversee larger nonbank auto finance companies, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) and the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) issued the following statement:

“As stated on numerous occasions, NADA, NAMAD and AIADA strongly oppose discrimination in any form and fully support the efforts of the CFPB, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and other federal agencies to eliminate it from the marketplace.

“However, the CFPB has again failed to fully disclose its methodology for measuring for the presence of disparate impact. There are legitimate, market-based reasons for disparities in interest rates – from monthly budget constraints, to the presence of more competitive offers, to inventory reduction considerations – all of which are nondiscriminatory and all of which can be documented in the transaction. A better solution would be for lenders to adopt a robust retail compliance program that documents the basis of the pricing decision to effectively reduce the risk of discrimination in the purchasing process. The Department of Justice has created such a risk mitigation model, and we encourage the bureau not to overlook this common sense approach to addressing fair credit risks in the auto financing market.

“With respect to the proxy methodology report released by the CFPB, many of the questions that Congress and others have asked remain unanswered. We look forward to rigorous peer review to ensure that the tools the bureau is using to address fair credit concerns may actually accomplish its goals.”
Source: NADA, NAMAD and AIADA

Editor's note: Paul Metrey, NADA's chief regulatory counsel, will participate in a CFPB panel session on auto finance today at 11 a.m. Click here to watch the hearing. In a related issue, H.R. 5403, a bipartisan bill to reform the CFPB's auto lending "guidance," currently has 59 supporters. For the list of supporters, click here. Dealers are urged to contact their House members to cosponsor H.R. 5403 as soon as possible because this is likely the last week Congress will be in session before the November elections. To locate your House member, click here. For the issue brief on H.R. 5403, click here.
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New Car Dealers of Utah Select NADART as Preferred Retirement Plan Provider

NADART, the retirement plan and financial services division of NADA, and the New Car Dealers of Utah today announced a new strategic partnership. The partnership supports NADART’s initiative to provide customized retirement plan solutions to state associations, their dealer members and employees. “We are proud to announce our endorsement of NADART’s retirement plan product,” said Craig Bickmore, executive director of the New Car Dealers of Utah. “We know our members and their employees will benefit from the service and experience they provide. Having the right resources, like a quality 401(k) plan, can improve a dealership’s operations.”

NADART delivers a selection of investment and employee benefit options specifically designed for dealer businesses. “NADART believes workers should get the best value from their 401(k) plan to prepare for a successful retirement,” said Betsy Piper/Bach, NADART vice president and chief operating officer. “We understand teamwork, and we’ll deliver our personalized and professional services to support the Utah dealers association and its dealership members.”

Utah joins 12 other state dealer associations who have partnered with NADART, which include Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.
Source: NADART
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IHS Hikes 2014 U.S. Auto Sales Forecast to 16.4 Million

U.S. auto sales, buoyed by increasing consumer confidence and cheap financing, are rising faster than expected and will reach 16.4 million this year and climb to 17.4 million in 2017, consultant IHS Automotive said. "The recovery's positive spirit leads to people making big-ticket purchases, whereas they had been hesitant in the past," Henner Lehne, IHS senior director of global light-vehicle forecasting, said [Wednesday] at a briefing in Southfield, Mich. "The housing market is improving, there's a good business climate and you have credit availability." IHS raised its U.S. light-vehicle sales forecast to 16.4 million this year, the most since 2006, from 16.25 million as the pace of deliveries exceeded expectations in recent months, Lehne said.
Source: Bloomberg

Editor's note: In early January, NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly forecasted sales of 16.4 million new cars and light trucks, a 5.8 percent increase from 2013. “Consumers will be far better off in 2014 than last year,” he said. “Employment is improving. Debt has been reduced, and home prices across all regions of the country will remain stable or will rise, yielding a positive wealth effect.” Szakaly added that employment, particularly in the construction and services industries, will improve this year, and a continued moderation in gasoline prices and improvements in the housing market will help to offset stagnation in wages and income in 2014.
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Five Years Later, Chrysler's Gamble on Ram Trucks is Paying Off

Ram trucks gain on their Detroit rivals

In December, the sprawling, four million-square-foot factory where workers assemble Ram pickup trucks, along conveyors that weave for more than 30 miles, suddenly went quiet. Thousands of workers looked on where a makeshift stage, draped in black, had been assembled. Sergio Marchionne, Chrysler Group's chairman and chief executive, stepped up to address the crowd. Mr. Marchionne was there to acknowledge an industry award for the truck, but, more important, to convey a simple message to the workers: well done. In 2009, when Ram was carved out from Dodge into a stand-alone division, it was a big gamble — and far from a sure thing. Some industry critics scoffed at the idea of a brand dedicated to pickup trucks. Others were puzzled: After the bailouts, the trend was to consolidate brands to streamline automakers' offerings, but Chrysler was adding a new one. Five years later, the verdict is in: The gamble paid off.
Source: The New York Times
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Toyota to Boost Mexico Truck Plant Capacity by 41%

As Toyota Motor Corp. ponders its first full assembly plant in Mexico, it plans to boost capacity at its existing factory there more than 40 percent to feed demand for trucks. Toyota will increase capacity at its Tacoma pickup plant in Baja California 41 percent to 89,000 vehicles next April. The upgrade, which will add 300 jobs, follows an 11 percent capacity increase just this year that raised output to 63,000. The world's biggest automaker will eke the additional vehicles by adding a third shift to the plant, which is a knock-down facility handling only body welding, painting and assembly. Production at the plant was up 13 percent from January to July.
Source: Automotive News
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Mercedes Sets Up Cloud Firewall to Halt Car-Data Hacking

Mercedes-Benz, the world's third-biggest maker of luxury vehicles, is using a cloud-computing setup to protect data as cars' mobile links and software expand and the industry prepares for driverless travel. Elements of the technology will include enabling people in a vehicle to control how much of their data is available to the outside world while they're on the road, Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, head of legal affairs at Mercedes parent Daimler AG, said at a conference. Drivers will also have the option of erasing information automatically once they've left the auto.
Source: Bloomberg
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Ford and Lincoln Get Connected with Apple's Siri

After years of negative customer reviews of its in-car voice-recognition technology, Ford Motor Co. may solve some of its lingering issues by partnering with Automatic Labs. Soon, drivers will be able to ask Apple's Siri system about the weather and turn on their home thermostat from the wheel of their Ford or Lincoln, the automaker said Tuesday. Automatic Labs, which created a plug-in car knowledge gadget, and Ford said they paired up to make the driving experience smarter and safer for Ford and Lincoln owners. Automatic Labs' small device plugs into a port below the steering wheel and connects drivers' iPhones with their vehicles' onboard computer.
Source: Automotive News
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Quotable
"The CFPB has again failed to fully disclose its methodology for measuring for the presence of disparate impact."

   
-- NADA, NAMAD and AIADA, commenting on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal to oversee larger nonbank auto finance companies, NADAFrontPage.com, Sept. 17  

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