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Inside this issue
AFSA Offers 4 New Responses CFPB Could Use in Database
Nissan Murano, Ford Flex Get Top Safety Ratings
Audi Edges Ahead of BMW to Lead Luxury-Car Sales Race in April
GM Fund Has Now Approved Claims to 100 Deaths
Volvo Must Solve U.S. Sales Challenge Before Opening Plant
Go Inside Secret Lair Where Ford Developed the GT Super Car
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
AFSA Offers 4 New Responses CFPB Could Use in Database

Along with recommendations on how to alter the nine standard responses the agency plans to embed, the American Financial Services Association shared four more potential finance company replies that would be integrated within the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau public compliant database. In a letter to CFPB director Richard Cordray, AFSA executive vice president Bill Himpler maintained the association’s concerns with the bureau’s policy how it plans to disclose publicly unstructured and unverified consumer complaint narrative data via its Web-based, public-facing database. The policy states that companies have set responses that they can select from when responding publicly to narratives that the consumer has chosen to publish. The policy also states that the CFPB will not notify companies when a consumer has chosen to make a complaint public. Although it is a final policy statement, AFSA pointed out the CFPB stated that it was open to feedback and would consider making changes. Along with the nine responses the CFPB plans to allow, Himpler mentioned four other ones that could help finance companies. Click here to read more. 
Source: SubPrime Auto Finance News
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Nissan Murano, Ford Flex Get Top Safety Ratings

A group that prods automakers to build safer vehicles said Tuesday that two new 2015 mid-size SUVs won top honors in stringent front crash-test ratings, while others — including three made by Fiat Chrysler NV — fared more poorly. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that among seven new models tested, the Nissan Murano earned a good rating and the Ford Flex got an acceptable rating in a tougher crash test in place since 2012. Both qualified for Top Safety Pick awards, while the Murano with an optional frontal crash system won the "Top Safety Pick +" award. IIHS Chief Research Officer David Zuby said the small-overlap crash test — which mirrors what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object such as a utility pole — presented a major challenge for manufacturers when it was introduced three years ago, and many have adapted quickly.
Source: The Detroit News

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Audi Edges Ahead of BMW to Lead Luxury-Car Sales Race in April

Audi was the world’s biggest seller of luxury cars in April, edging out BMW AG’s namesake brand and fast-growing Mercedes-Benz. Bolstered by U.S. demand for the Audi Q5 and Q7 sport utility vehicles, the Volkswagen AG unit’s deliveries rose 2.5 percent to 152,850 cars last month, compared with BMW’s 5.6 percent increase to 148,896 autos. Daimler AG’s Mercedes remained the fastest growing of the world’s three biggest luxury-car brands, posting an 11 percent gain to 148,072 cars. BMW has vowed to defend its annual lead in global premium car sales, even as key models such as the 7-Series sedan age. The three German luxury-car brands are adding all-new models to widen their appeal and gain an edge over rivals.
Source: Bloomberg

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GM Fund Has Now Approved Claims to 100 Deaths

The General Motors ignition switch compensation fund said Monday it has now approved compensation for 100 deaths — three more than a week earlier, and much higher than many suggested was likely. GM initially said last year that 13 deaths were related to Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other cars with ignition switches that can inadvertently shut off the engine and disable power steering and air bags. GM delayed recalling the cars for nearly a decade even after some within the company became aware there was a problem. The fund also approved five new injury claims. Of the 184 injury claims approved, 12 are for serious injuries and 172 are for less severe injuries. Fund officials are using a much broader definition to determine if deaths are related to the defect — including pedestrians who may have been killed as a result of a defective GM car.
Source: The Detroit News
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Volvo Must Solve U.S. Sales Challenge Before Opening Plant

Volvo plans to begin building cars in America in 2018. But can it sell cars like it used to, or better, beginning in 2015? That issue will be more crucial to the company’s future in the United States than a domestic manufacturing capability, and it will be decided soon. At the moment, the answer is far from certain. Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson certainly acknowledged the important tie between stronger Volvo sales in the United States and the ultimate success of the plant the company will build in South Carolina in discussing its plan this week. The up-to-$500-million facility planned for Berkeley County “is a clear sign of commitment to the revival of our U.S. business,” he said, according to Reuters.
Source: Forbes
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Go Inside Secret Lair Where Ford Developed the GT Super Car


The exterior design team works on clay scale models of three different themes at the Ford GT design studio in a secret basement room at its product development center in Dearborn. (Photo credit: Ford)

A small team developed Ford GT super car in 14 months and is now testing prototypes on the track.

In the basement of Ford's Product Development Center in Dearborn, in a room formally used to store foam, the Ford GT super car grew from sketches to clay models to prototypes now being tested on the track in preparation for sale in the second half of 2016. Ford allowed reporters into the secret lair Monday. Down dingy stairs and into long-forgotten hallways that saw little life before the project pulled together a few select executives, designers and engineers to build the automaker's most expensive car. "We needed a small barricaded space, away from traffic," said Moray Callum, Ford's head of design. The team was small and handpicked to include a mix of young talent with fresh ideas and seasoned employees with the experience needed to pull off a new GT in a record 14 months.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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Quotable

"Despite the upcoming generation changes in key model families and sales markets, we have surpassed the record figures of the previous year. In the coming months, we intend to continue growing worldwide."

    -- Luca de Meo, head of marketing and sales for Audi, commenting on the automaker being the biggest seller of luxury cars in April, Bloomberg, May 12

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