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Inside this issue
NHTSA Wants Two New Divisions to Spot Defects
Senators to Propose Vehicle Ratings for Data Security
IRS Issues New Guidance on Accounting Method Changes
Honda to Invest $85M in Ohio for Acura MDX Production
U.S. Postal Service to Seek Bids on Next Delivery Vehicle
GM Is Actively Considering Buybacks or Increasing Its Dividend
Ford's January Sales in Europe Up 9.8 Percent
Brady Handoff Generates More Publicity for Colorado
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
NHTSA Wants Two New Divisions to Spot Defects

The new head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says he wants to create two new divisions to help spot auto safety defects earlier. NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind praised the White House budget proposal that calls for tripling NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation funding. “We need people, technology and authority,” Rosekind said in an interview Tuesday after an event in Arlington, Va. “It’s not just about the money — it’s about what it gets us. You are talking about doubling the people.” Rosekind said the funding would let NHTSA create a “trend analysis division so that goes to connecting the dots that everybody talks about.” NHTSA would also create a new separate specialized crash investigation group.
Source: The Detroit News
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Senators to Propose Vehicle Ratings for Data Security

A duo of U.S. senators want new-vehicle stickers to include a “cyber dashboard” that would include ratings for security systems designed to protect cars and light trucks from hackers and for privacy controls that safeguard vehicle data. Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday that a bill they’re proposing would also direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Trade Commission to write new rules requiring all new cars to have minimum data privacy and security protocols. The vehicle ratings would be based on those standards.
Source: Automotive News
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IRS Issues New Guidance on Accounting Method Changes

The IRS has issued two revenue procedures updating how taxpayers must seek permission from the IRS in order to change their accounting method. This is particularly pertinent to dealers who must change their accounting method to comply with the IRS’s final tangible property regulations (which generally govern whether expenditures on tangible property may be expensed or must be depreciated). A fact sheet on the IRS guidance has been prepared for NADA by the dealer accounting firm Crowe Horwath LLP. Dealers are encouraged to discuss this development with their tax advisor.
Source: NADA Regulatory Affairs
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Honda to Invest $85M in Ohio for Acura MDX Production

Honda North America Inc. said Wednesday it will add a second U.S. production location for the Acura MDX, investing $85 million into its East Liberty, Ohio, assembly plant. The company said production of the MDX will begin in spring 2017 in Ohio. The investment in East Liberty includes new welding equipment and extension of vehicle conveyers but is not expected to create any new jobs, said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. The MDX today is built only at Honda's Lincoln, Ala., assembly plant; production there will continue. The Japanese automaker said it expects Honda and Acura light truck sales will grow and this gives the company greater flexibility, Mendel said.
Source: The Detroit News

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U.S. Postal Service to Seek Bids on Next Delivery Vehicle

Faced with rising maintenance costs for its aging fleet and needing extra cargo space to satisfy the desires of online shoppers, the U.S. Postal Service is asking automakers to bid on a commercial van that would replace the boxy Long Life Vehicle and become the backbone of the service’s delivery fleet starting in 2018. The agency has scheduled a meeting with potential bidders next week in Washington. It says it will pick vendors this summer to build prototypes, which will undergo tests in 2016 before a contract is awarded in early 2017. It could be one of the largest fleet purchases ever.
Source: Automotive News
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GM Is Actively Considering Buybacks or Increasing Its Dividend

General Motors Co. is actively considering share buybacks or a dividend boost to return part of its $25 billion in cash to investors, a person familiar with the matter said. The automaker had been considering the moves even before former Treasury official Harry Wilson began asking for a share buyback, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. A decision could come later in this year, the person said Wednesday. Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens said on a conference call last week that GM would consider “further returns of capital to shareholders” after it has more clarity on litigation costs related to its ongoing small-car ignition-switch recall in the second half of the year. GM’s shares rose 0.4 percent to close at $37.67.
Source: Bloomberg
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Ford's January Sales in Europe Up 9.8 Percent

Ford Motor Co. on Thursday said its Europe sales rose 9.8 percent in January, compared to the same period a month ago, as market share rose 0.2 percentage points. The Dearborn Automaker sold 88,700 vehicles in Europe last month, up nearly 10 percent and outpacing the industry growth of 6.5 percent. Sales were paced by the all-new Mondeo, whose sales rose 29 percent year-over-year. Ford’s total vehicle market share rose to 7.7 percent last month, its largest share since 2012.
Source: The Detroit News
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Brady Handoff Generates More Publicity for Colorado

Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady made his final handoff of the season Tuesday, a new Chevrolet Colorado for teammate Malcolm Butler. Brady’s gesture gives Chevy another infusion of publicity for the Colorado. What vehicle the Super Bowl MVP receives is normally an afterthought, but Brady’s handoff has kept the Colorado in the news long after the Feb. 1 game. The New England Patriots quarterback was awarded the pickup for winning MVP honors, but he wanted Butler to have it. Butler, a cornerback, made the game-clinching interception in the game’s closing seconds. Butler picked up his new Colorado from Clay Chevrolet in Norwood, Mass.
Source: Automotive News
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Quotable

"I am ecstatic that Chevrolet has chosen to reward me with a Colorado. It is just another unreal event in what has been an incredible week."

   
-- Malcolm Butler, New England Patriots, commenting on receiving a new Chevrolet Colorado following the Super Bowl, Automotive News, Feb. 11

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