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Inside this issue
NADA Sees 2015 U.S. Sales Nearing 17 Million Vehicles
GM's Bankruptcy Judge to Retire, Remain on Recall Status
Chrysler Regulatory Boss Kunselman Added to Senate Hearing List
Toyota to Start Sales of Fuel Cell Car Next Month
Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango Output Goes Grayscale for a Few Months
Ford Unveils Shelby GT350 Mustang Ahead of L.A. Auto Show
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Top Stories
NADA Sees 2015 U.S. Sales Nearing 17 Million Vehicles

Continued economic improvement, low interest rates and cheap gasoline will help new-vehicle sales rise more than 3 percent to nearly 17 million units next year, the most since 2005, according to forecasts from the National Automobile Dealers Association. NADA sees U.S. new vehicle sales growing to 16.94 million units in 2015 from a projected 16.4 million this year, as U.S. gross domestic product grows 3.1 percent, compared with an estimated 2.1 percent this year. Through October, the industry sold 13.7 million vehicles in the U.S., up 6 percent over the same period of 2013.
Source: Automotive News

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GM's Bankruptcy Judge to Retire, Remain on Recall Status

The New York bankruptcy judge overseeing part of the fallout from General Motors Co's problems with faulty ignition switches will retire from the bench, but remain active in so-called recall status for at least a year, his court announced. Judge Robert Gerber will assume recall status on Jan. 1, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York announced in a statement published late on Friday. Recall status allows judges who are technically retired to continue to serve.
Source: Reuters

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Chrysler Regulatory Boss Kunselman Added to Senate Hearing List

Chrysler Group’s safety and regulatory compliance boss plus executives from Honda, Takata and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's top executive are among the witnesses expected to testify during a U.S. Senate committee hearing Thursday on the Takata airbag recalls. The hearing, to be led by Nelson, will focus on defective Takata airbags that could spew metal shrapnel during deployment. The defect has been linked to at least five deaths and prompted the recall of more than 11 million vehicles from 10 different manufacturers since 2008. The hearing will also probe how automakers and NHTSA have responded to the problem.
Source: Automotive News

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Toyota to Start Sales of Fuel Cell Car Next Month

There will only be a few hundred, and they won't be cheap, but Toyota is about to take its first small step into the unproven market for emissions-free, hydrogen-powered vehicles. The world's largest automaker announced Tuesday that it will begin selling fuel cell cars in Japan on Dec. 15 and in the U.S. and Europe in mid-2015.
Source: Associated Press

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Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango Output Goes Grayscale for a Few Months

Chryslers suspends availability of some colors during paint shop upgrade

Plans to upgrade a paint shop at a Chrysler Group factory in Detroit will leave the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango colorblind for a couple months. The automaker informed dealers it is suspending orders of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango in any color other than black, white, silver or gray until at least February. The cause: the paint shop at the company’s super-busy Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit is being upgraded to allow for more complex colors.
Source: Automotive News
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Ford Unveils Shelby GT350 Mustang Ahead of L.A. Auto Show

In 1965, Ford paired up with an L.A.-based shop run by Carroll Shelby to breathe a dose of race-bred muscle into its new Mustang. The resulting GT350 helped turn Shelby — the man and the hot-rodding shop he built — into a legend. Monday afternoon, nearly 50 years after that initial partnership, Ford and Shelby American reunited to pull the wraps off an all-new Shelby GT350 Mustang, a track-savvy but street-friendly version of the recent sixth-generation Ford Mustang. The car was unveiled inside a warehouse at the future site of the Carroll Shelby museum in Gardena [Calif.]. It will be on display for the public at the L.A. Auto Show, which opens this week.
Source: The Los Angeles Times

Editor's note: The NADA/J.D. Power Western Automotive Conference will be held in Los Angeles today, Nov. 18, preceding press days at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
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Quotable
"Rising employment and wages, continued low interest rates and lower gasoline prices all signal an increase in new light-vehicle sales in 2015."

   
-- NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly, commenting on his 2015 new-car sales forecast, Automotive News, Nov. 17

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