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Inside this issue
Auto Sales Outlook Rises 200,000 After Strong End to Year
Commentary: NADA The Show of Shows
Senators Push Auto Whistle-Blower Bill
Honda Cuts Profit Forecast After Recall Costs Mount
Study: Newer Vehicles Getting Safer
F-150 Launch, Sales Going Strong, Says Ford CEO
Major Car Companies Sitting Out the Super Bowl
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Auto Sales Outlook Rises 200,000 After Strong End to Year

An improving job market and cheap gasoline is likely to add 200,000 more car sales this year than analysts estimated just two months ago, according to a new survey. After a strong finish to 2014 -- November and December were two of the year's three best months -- most analysts surveyed by Bloomberg increased their 2015 estimates, raising the average projection to 16.9 million deliveries. As recently as mid-November, the average estimate was for sales to rise about 200,000 to 16.7 million cars and light trucks for a sixth consecutive year of growth, the longest streak since at least World War II.
Source: Bloomberg
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Commentary: NADA The Show of Shows
By John McElroy

In January, my travels took me to three different industry shows. The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and the National Auto Dealers Association show in San Francisco. As surprising as it may sound, the NADA show was by far the most impressive. The automotive retail space is attracting more attention than at any time I can ever remember. Big-money investors are pouring billions into the segment. High-tech firms are patenting algorithms to turbocharge the retail process. And new car dealers may be in the perfect position to take advantage of the car-sharing boom. No wonder there is so much action, the future looks bright!
Source: WardsAuto
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Senators Push Auto Whistle-Blower Bill

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators led by the top Republican and Democrat on the Commerce Committee reintroduced legislation Thursday to give automotive sector employees incentives to sound the alarm on vehicle defects. The legislation — first introduced in November — would allow auto industry employee whistle-blowers to potentially be paid millions if they reveal hidden dangers. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the chairman of the Commerce Committee, and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla, the ranking member, reintroduced the Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act.
Source: The Detroit News

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Honda Cuts Profit Forecast After Recall Costs Mount

Honda Motor Co., Japan's third-largest carmaker, cut its profit forecast for the second time in as many quarters recall costs mount. Net income will probably be 545 billion yen ($4.6 billion) in the fiscal year ending March, the Tokyo-based carmaker said in a statement. That compares with the 565 billion yen the company previously forecast and the 591.2 billion yen average of 24 analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Honda in October cut an earlier forecast. Earnings were eroded by recalls tied to flawed Takata Corp. air bags and of the new hybrid systems in the best-selling Fit compact car and Vezel SUV. The carmaker's worst quality issues in decades have derailed plans to introduce new models, led President Takanobu Ito to take a 20 percent cut in his monthly pay for three months and triggered the projection of its first profit drop in three years.
Source: Bloomberg
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Study: Newer Vehicles Getting Safer

The chance of dying when behind the wheel of a newer car is falling dramatically as automakers add high-tech safety features, a report released Thursday finds. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said death rates for drivers in late-model vehicles fell by more than one-third over three years — but there is a wide range between the safest models and those with the highest death rates. Gloria Bergquiest, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group representing Detroit's Big Three automakers, Toyota Motor Corp. and others, said newer vehicles are safer.
Source: The Detroit News
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F-150 Launch, Sales Going Strong, Says Ford CEO

Ford CEO also defends the cost of repairing an aluminum-bodied F-150

Ford has overcome most of the obstacles to launching the new 2015 F-150, CEO Mark Fields said [Thursday] in releasing fourth-quarter and full-year 2014 earnings that were lower than a year ago in part due to lower sales and profits from limited pickup inventories while plants retool. Shutting down the Dearborn and Kansas City, Mo., plants for 13 weeks last year to prepare them to build the new aluminum bodied truck cost the automaker 90,000 pickups. Some analysts estimate the F-Series line contributes as much as 90% of Ford's automotive profits.
Source: The Detroit Free Press
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Major Car Companies Sitting Out the Super Bowl

It's not very often that auto companies sit out the biggest media event of the year. But this year's Super Bowl is proof even that even the prospect of more than 110 million people watching the Seattle Seahawks face off against the New England Patriots is not enough to persuade car companies they should get in the game. This year, General Motors, Ford and Audi are among the automakers that have decided not to spend $4.5 million to run 30-second commercials.
Source: CNBC
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Quotable

"People are more confident, and they have more money in their pockets to spend on cars. The pent-up demand, especially for trucks, is what we’re going to see in 2015. It’s definitely the year of the truck."

   
-- Beau Boeckmann, president and owner of California’s Galpin Motors, the largest Ford retailer in the country, predicting 2015 auto sales, Bloomberg, Jan. 30

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