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Inside this issue
House Passes Estate Tax Repeal Bill But Faces Uncertain Future in the Senate
U.S. House OKs Bill to Kill 'Death Tax'
Winterkorn Gets 'Full Support' of Top Panel to Remain VW CEO
Nissan to Expand U.S. Recalls Tied to Takata Air-Bag Flaw
Aluminum F-150 Improves Crash-Test Rating From All-Steel Predecessor
Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars Return for Another Run
Students Envision Self Drivers for 2030
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
House Passes Estate Tax Repeal Bill But Faces Uncertain Future in the Senate

The U.S. House of Representatives on April 16 passed H. R. 1105, a bill introduced by Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) that would repeal the estate tax. This legislation passed by a vote of 240-179.

H.R. 1105 was supported by seven House Democrats – Reps. Brad Ashford (Neb.), Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Jim Costa (Calif.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), and opposed by three Republicans – Reps. David Jolly (Fla.), Walter Jones (N.C.) and Scott Rigell (Va.). 

The Senate companion bill, S. 860, introduced by John Thune (R-S.D.) on March 25, has garnered the support of 30 Senate cosponsors, all Republican. This legislation will now be considered by the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. Additionally, the White House released a statement saying that the President’s advisors would recommend a veto of this legislation. 

Most dealerships are family-owned businesses with significant estate tax exposure. Many NADA member dealerships have spent decades building their companies and are second- or third-generation businesses. The estate tax particularly hurts dealerships since assets, such as land and single-use showroom facilities, cannot be liquidated to pay the tax without destroying the viability of the dealership.

NADA is a steering committee member of the Family Business Estate Tax Coalition, a group working to repeal the estate tax, which strongly supported H.R. 1105. NADA will continue to fight to ensure that the estate tax does not prevent small business automobile dealerships from surviving the loss of a key family member. 
Source: NADA

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U.S. House OKs Bill to Kill 'Death Tax'

The U.S. House of Representatives [on Thursday] passed a bill to repeal the federal tax that applies a 40 percent tax rate to estates worth at least $5.43 million. The estate tax was set at 40 percent on estates worth $5 million or more in 2013 as part of the set of so-called fiscal cliff legislation. With many dealerships being family-owned, the tax has long been unpopular with dealers, whose trade organizations have lobbied for years to curtail the tax’s impact on their members. Dealers say the tax unfairly penalizes their family members, who often are faced with the prospect of selling their dealership or its assets to satisfy the estate tax bill if a dealer family member dies unexpectedly. Estate planning also gobbles up resources that could be better spent on their businesses. Jared Allen, a spokesman for the National Automobile Dealers Association, says that most dealerships are family owned and run by second- or third-generation family members. “These businesses shouldn't have to choose between closing, selling or incurring substantial debt just to survive the unanticipated loss of a key family member,” Allen said in a statement.
Source: Automotive News



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Winterkorn Gets 'Full Support' of Top Panel to Remain VW CEO

Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn has won the “full support” of the automaker’s top-level committee to continue serving as chief executive, surviving a week-long power struggle with Chairman Ferdinand Piech. In addition, the committee, on which Piech is one of six members, has proposed that Winterkorn’s contract be extended when it runs out in February 2016. “Martin Winterkorn is the best possible chairman of the board of management for Volkswagen,” the committee said in a release today, adding that it wants him to continue doing his job "with the same vigor and success as before, and that he has the full support of the committee in doing so."
Source: Automotive News
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Nissan to Expand U.S. Recalls Tied to Takata Air-Bag Flaw

Nissan Motor Co. plans to expand a regional U.S. recall of cars with potentially defective Takata Corp. air bags after a woman said she was injured last month by shrapnel from the device in her 2006 Sentra sedan. Nissan filed an incident report with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration late Thursday to expand its recall, a company spokesman, Steve Yaeger, said in an interview. The expansion will cover Sentras from the 2004 to 2006 model years that weren’t part the earlier regional recall, Yaeger said. “Before that accident we didn’t have enough data to recall,” Yaeger said. “We’re moving as quickly as we can to expand the recalls.”
Source: Bloomberg
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Aluminum F-150 Improves Crash-Test Rating From All-Steel Predecessor

The aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 has earned a better government crash-test rating than its all-steel predecessor, countering any concerns that the lighter material would result in a weaker pickup and eliminating one of the Chevrolet Silverado’s advantages. The 2015 F-150 SuperCrew received overall, frontal and side-impact crash ratings of five stars -- the highest score possible -- in both the two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations. That’s up from the 2014 truck’s ratings of four stars overall, three in frontal crashes and five in side impacts. The F-150 SuperCrew, which accounts for more than 70 percent of F-150 sales, now has the same ratings in each category as the Silverado and one more star than the Ram 1500. Regulators have not released ratings for other versions of the F-150, but Ford officials said they are expected soon.
Source: Automotive News

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Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars Return for Another Run

For decades, hydrogen has been the Dracula of automotive fuels: Just when you think a stake has been driven through its zero-emissions heart, the technology rises from the grave. In 2015, even with gasoline cheaper than it has been in years, hydrogen is back to haunt those who insist that battery electric vehicles are the long-term solution for reducing fossil fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. This time — with hydrogen fuel cell costs falling significantly, and a tiny yet budding network of public fueling stations — automakers are placing their latest long-odds bet on hydrogen cars.
Source: The New York Times
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Students Envision Self Drivers for 2030

What will vehicle interiors look like far in the future? That’s the question we’ve been trying to answer for six years now with the help of talented students in the Transportation Design Dept. at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. Each year, the young designers have delivered projects that are fascinating, thought-provoking and fun. And many now have moved on to jobs at automakers and suppliers. This year, we challenged students to create an autonomous vehicle for weekend driving enthusiasts that would debut in 2030.
Source: WardsAuto
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Quotable

"These businesses shouldn't have to choose between closing, selling or incurring substantial debt just to survive the unanticipated loss of a key family member."

    -- Jared Allen, an NADA spokesman, commenting on passage of a House bill that repeals the estate tax, Automotive News, April 16

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