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Inside this issue
Congress Approves Tax Extenders Bill: Limited-Time Tax Benefits May Be Available
Mark Rosekind Confirmed as Head of NHTSA
NHTSA Building Legal Case to Force Takata Air-Bag Recall
Recalls of Cars Abroad Prompt No Urgency in U.S.
Ford Starts Deliveries of 2015 F-150
Mercedes-Benz USA Weighing Plan to Move Headquarters From New Jersey
What Millennials Really Want
Autoweek Names Volkswagen Golf GTI and GMC Canyon as 2015 Best of the Best
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Congress Approves Tax Extenders Bill: Limited-Time Tax Benefits May Be Available

NADA and ATD strongly supported and advocated for the renewal of these pro-dealer measures. 

Congress is sending to the President a measure that increases small business expensing and bonus depreciation, which will allow dealers and their customers to expense a larger portion of equipment purchases for 2014. The Senate last night approved a House-passed bill, H.R. 5771, to renew several expired tax provisions that will benefit automobile and truck dealers and their customers. These provisions apply to purchases in 2014 only. Dealers and their customers must act quickly to take advantage of these tax benefits. 

First, the bill contains a retroactive increase of the limit on business equipment eligible under Section 179 small business expensing to $500,000 for eligible new and used equipment purchased in 2014. Without this bill, the maximum eligible for Sec. 179 expensing in 2014 would have been $25,000. The bill also includes an extension of the 50 percent bonus depreciation deduction for new business equipment acquired and placed in service in 2014. 

In addition to these changes, there is an extension of the additional $8,000 in first-year depreciation for certain business vehicles purchased in 2014. This provision may provide substantial potential savings for a dealership's business customers, but they must purchase qualifying vehicles before Dec. 31, 2014.

Dealers and their customers are encouraged to consult their tax advisors to determine the exact amount of their potential tax savings, which is dependent on their own particular tax situation and the interplay of the provisions described above.

President Obama is expected to sign this legislation. NADA and ATD strongly supported and advocated for the renewal of these pro-dealer measures. 
Source: NADA Legislative Affairs


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Mark Rosekind Confirmed as Head of NHTSA

Scientist takes over agency as a spate of deadly defects has rattled auto industry and its regulators

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Mark Rosekind as head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Mr. Rosekind, a scientist with expertise in human fatigue who has been a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, takes over the top auto safety regulatory agency as a spate of deadly defects has rattled the industry and its regulators. He told senators at his confirmation hearing in November that he would bring a fresh set of eyes to the agency. Senators confirmed him for the new post by unanimous consent, along with a number of other presidential appointments, as part of the Senate’s last-minute rush of legislative business before adjourning for the year.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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NHTSA Building Legal Case to Force Takata Air-Bag Recall

U.S. regulators investigating failures of Takata Corp. air bags are preparing for a legal fight in case the Japanese parts maker doesn't comply with a request to expand a recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working as quickly as possible to sort through tens of thousands of pages of documents from Takata, Honda Motor Co., and other automakers to build its case, David Friedman, the agency's deputy administrator, said in an interview. “This is a serious safety issue, and Takata needs to move forward,” Friedman said in a Dec. 12 interview. “If Takata fights us all the way to the end, I want to be able to walk into a courtroom with as close to a slam dunk as I can get.”
Source: Bloomberg

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Recalls of Cars Abroad Prompt No Urgency in U.S.

Toyota discovered a braking defect, Honda a power steering flaw and Nissan a problem that could lead drivers to lose control of their cars. Ford found that wires in some cars could melt, General Motors that some airbags might fail to deploy, and Chrysler that some of its Jeeps could burst into flames. The automakers unearthed the problems years ago, reported them to regulators and conducted safety recalls. But those recalls happened outside the United States. The automobile industry has been under a microscope this year, recalling a record number of vehicles, more than 58 million in the United States alone. 

But even with such extraordinary efforts to address past problems, automakers have managed to skirt recalls in the United States for known safety problems. In dozens of instances over the last decade, problems that prompted recalls or other safety-related actions in foreign countries have not been treated with the same urgency in the United States, a review of more than 500 international recalls by The New York Times found.
Source: The New York Times
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Ford Starts Deliveries of 2015 F-150

Vehicles are rolling off production lines, making their way to U.S. dealers

David Key ordered a King Ranch edition of the 2015 F-150 five months ago. He called 20 Ford Motor Co. dealers located within a four-hour drive of his Raleigh, N.C., home before finding one with December delivery. Mr. Key, 47, is one of thousands of customers with confirmed orders waiting on their new truck. Ford, which has hailed the new F-150 as among its most important products in history, has been building the pickups near its Dearborn, Mich., headquarters for months and storing them near the factory. It only started delivering the product to buyers in recent days. As falling gasoline prices boost truck demand, U.S. customers are being forced to wait in line. Mr. Key, a civil engineer, seems content, saying “it is an amazing feat to get all these trucks out all over the country…I have been hungry for any information about how they ship these things out.”
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Mercedes-Benz USA Weighing Plan to Move Headquarters From New Jersey

Auto company considering move to Georgia or North Carolina

Mercedes-Benz USA is considering a plan to move its headquarters to either Georgia or North Carolina from New Jersey, which would end a more than 40-year connection to the state where it employs about 1,000 people. Executives are considering Atlanta and several cities in North Carolina, according to two people briefed on the matter. A variety of tax-incentive packages are being reviewed, although details have yet to be released. Mercedes-Benz USA, a division of Daimler AG , has been based in Montvale since 1972. If the move goes through, it would be the third major relocation to be announced in the past year in the U.S. auto industry.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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What Millennials Really Want

Sixty-four million millennials are expected to purchase a car in the U.S. in the next five years alone. A new study provides important insights into what the emerging Millennial generation is really looking for when buying a car.  The millennials, once known as the “Baby Boom Echo” (or Gen Y), are the largest generation in history; given this enormous and growing buying power it is safe to say that few dealers will be successful in the coming years without cracking the code on how to best serve this critical demographic. Our friends at Deloitte recently released their 2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study. Click here for more information.
Source: Auto Remarketing
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Autoweek Names Volkswagen Golf GTI and GMC Canyon as 2015 Best of the Best

Autoweek, the auto enthusiast sister publication of Automotive News, named the Volkswagen Golf GTI and GMC Canyon truck as its Best of the Best car and truck for 2015. The GTI beat a group of finalists that includes the Alfa Romeo 4C, Ford Mustang and Mercedes-Benz C-class; and the GMC Canyon bested the likes of the Chevrolet Colorado, Lincoln MKC and Porsche Macan. Autoweek evaluates every new or significantly updated model throughout the year and begins to identify the standouts. Performance, economy, fit and finish, design, value, significance to the auto industry and personal taste all combine to define the Best of the Best.
Source: Autoweek
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Quotable

"... You have my commitment that I will maintain an aggressive focus on continuing to improve NHTSA’s safety record."

    -- Mark Rosekind, newly confirmed head of NHTSA, The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 16

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