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Inside this issue
Editorial: Study Rips CFPB's Anti-Bias Probes Of Car Lenders As Biased
U.S. to Sell Final Ally Shares, End Auto Bailout
Takata Says it Has Sufficient Funds to Deal with Recalls
Toyota to Invest $126M to Expand Powertrain Operations, Consolidate Vehicle Development in Mich.
North American Light-Vehicle Production Down 2.2% in November
Russian Crisis Forces GM to Cut Sales, Ford to Ax Jobs
How High Tech Could Wipe Out Drivers' Blind Spots
NAIAS Hosts Exclusive VIP Day for Dealers on January 14
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Editorial: Study Rips CFPB's Anti-Bias Probes Of Car Lenders As Biased

Confirming suspicions, the Obama regime has been suing auto lenders on false grounds. Its investigators have accused them of lending bias, but they're the ones who are biased, a major new study finds. Conducted by Boston-based Charles River Associates, the study analyzed 8.2 million new and used-car loan contracts originated during 2012 and 2013, representing 30% and 10% of all such contracts respectively. It thoroughly refutes the regime's allegation of widespread discrimination in the auto finance industry.

For starters, it measured racial disparities using the same proxy methodology the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau uses in its investigations to ID the race and ethnicity of car buyers. Unlike mortgages, auto loan data doesn't include the races of applicants, so investigators have to go by surnames and addresses to in effect guess their ethnicity. Such "proxies" are notoriously unreliable, but we had no idea they were as bad as this private study found.

According to Charles River, CFPB's proxy correctly IDs African-Americans less than 25% of the time. That means that when it sued Ally Financial last year, opening what plainly is a witch hunt against the auto finance industry, it didn't know for sure which borrowers were minorities. In fact, it may have accurately guessed fewer than 60,000 of the 235,000 minority car buyers it claims Ally discriminated against.
Source: Investor's Business Daily
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U.S. to Sell Final Ally Shares, End Auto Bailout

The U.S. Treasury will end its historic six-year intervention into the U.S. auto industry as early as Friday, as it launched an offering to sell its remaining 11.4 percent stake in Ally Financial Inc. The Detroit-based auto lender had received $17.2 billion in bailouts. The government plans to sell its remaining 54.9 million shares of the company. The Treasury confirmed the plan to sell the shares but didn't comment. The sale will end the government's $85 billion bailout launched under President George W. Bush and expanded by President Barack Obama.
Source: The Detroit News
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Takata Says it Has Sufficient Funds to Deal with Recalls

Airbag maker Takata Corp. has sufficient funds to deal with a global recall that has climbed to about 21 million vehicles after five deaths linked to its products, the company's CEO told the Nikkei newspaper. Takata CEO Shigehisa Takada, the grandson of the company founder, said the company is analyzing collected inflators to determine the cause of defects with its airbags, which can explode with excessive force and spray shrapnel into cars.
Source: Reuters

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Toyota to Invest $126M to Expand Powertrain Operations, Consolidate Vehicle Development in Mich.

Toyota Motor Corp. said that it will invest $126 million to expand its powertrain operations in Ann Arbor, Mich., and consolidate vehicle development operations at a new facility in nearby York Township, Mich. The plan comes as Toyota relocates numerous operations around the U.S. in the wake of its decision this year to move its North American headquarters from California to Texas. About 85 jobs will relocate to Ann Arbor from Toyota's powertrain facility in Gardena, Calif., by the end of 2016, a Toyota spokeswoman said.
Source: Automotive News
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North American Light-Vehicle Production Down 2.2% in November

Declines in output from the Detroit Three outweighed gains from other manufacturers

North American automakers built 1,352,170 light vehicles in November, 2.2% below same-month 2013. Inventory control and short-term plant closures for retooling brought the greatest year-over-year decrease of 2014. Production from the Detroit Three fell 10.4% as each manufacturer showed a drop. Ford had the worst result, down 14.7%. General Motors also recorded a double-digit decrease, 12.2%. Chrysler, while up 11.6% over the first 11 months of this year, showed a 3.5% decline in November. The biggest gainers were smaller manufacturers. Subaru produced 25,214 LVs in the month, 20.0% better than last year. WardsAuto estimates builds from BMW and Mercedes increased 29.5% and 19.2%, respectively. Car production ticked down 1.6% to 586,622 units. This vehicle type has followed a downward trend this year, falling 1.4% over the January-November period.
Source: WardsAuto
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Russian Crisis Forces GM to Cut Sales, Ford to Ax Jobs

The collapse in the Russian currency amid the continued dispute over Ukraine is costing the auto industry hundreds of millions of dollars. General Motors Co. said it has raised prices, cut jobs and halted sales to dealers in Russia. Ford Motor Co. has said it has slashed jobs and reduced the value of its investment in Russia. Among foreign automakers, Jaguar Land Rover has halted sales to dealers while Audi said it is delaying deliveries and studying whether to raise prices. Toyota Europe says it's looking at whether to adjust prices and production.
Source: The Detroit News

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How High Tech Could Wipe Out Drivers' Blind Spots

General Motors' Cadillac and Jaguar Land Rover both announced high-tech solutions this week to the age-old problem of driver blind spots by using cameras. Cadillac plans to add high-resolution streaming video in place of the traditional rearview mirror next year, a move that it says will end in the inability to see out the back because of rear-seat passengers, headrests and roof pillars. The brand says the video, which appears in the rear-view mirror, improves vision by 300%, or four times a traditional mirror. Jaguar Land Rover thinks it has gone a step further. It has a research project that lets drivers look in any direction without obstruction, including the front and rear roof pillars. A screen is embedded in each pillar that, in conjunction with cameras, provides an uninterrupted view to the outside.
Source: USA Today
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NAIAS Hosts Exclusive VIP Day for Dealers on January 14

Dealers and their guests are encouraged to attend the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Wednesday, January 14 from 8 a.m. to noon with show floor access until 9 p.m. Dealers will have exclusive VIP access to the show, which will feature about 50 of the latest concept and production vehicles. Click here for ticket information or call 248.283.5169. For more information about the show, visit www.naias.com.
Source: NAIAS
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Quotable

"The administration's refusal to include such evidence is evidence of its own bias. In fact, the report noted 'significant bias' in its approach. The regime isn't going after car lenders to enforce civil rights laws. That's a smokescreen. It's really targeting the industry for shakedown, using 'disparate impact' data as a way to trump up charges of racism."

    -- Investor's Business Daily, in an editorial on the findings of the Charles River Associates study of 8.2 million new and used-car loan contracts, Dec. 17

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