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Inside this issue
Obama Scales Back Overly Ambitious Goals for Electric Car Use
NHTSA Tightens Oversight For Takata, GM
OEM Service Website Survey
Ford Trims China Output as Market Slows, Pricing Pressure Builds
Best Memorial Day New-Car Deals
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Obama Scales Back Overly Ambitious Goals for Electric Car Use

In a 2009 executive order, the president had called for 1 million plug-in vehicles on the road by 2015, but poor sales and lower gas prices have intervened.

President Barack Obama's long-standing goal to have a fully fuel-efficient government fleet and 1 million plug-in vehicles on the road will not be met. With little fanfare, the president in March scaled back the ambitious goals laid out in 2009 that sought the million units on the road by 2015 as it became clear that technology and consumer interest were not keeping pace with his ideals. Sales and government purchases have failed to meet even lowered expectations, government sales data and U.S. sales data show. Obama cut government purchase goals on March 19, but said the government will continue to work to improve fuel economy into the future. The U.S. bought about 24,816 electric and hybrid vehicles during Obama's presidency, or about 7 percent of government purchases in that time, according to data from the U.S. General Service Administration obtained by Bloomberg under a Freedom of Information Act request. U.S. consumers bought about 286,814 of those models from 2009 to 2014, or 3 percent of overall sales.
Source: Bloomberg
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NHTSA Tightens Oversight For Takata, GM

NHTSA is invoking authority it gained in 2000 from the TREAD act to oversee Takata air bag recalls and has extended its oversight of GM's recall process. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provided additional evidence Thursday that it is tightening its oversight on the U.S. automotive industry with two separate regulatory moves involving an air bag supplier and General Motors. Late Thursday, NHTSA said that it has decided to extend federal oversight of GM's' review, decision-making and communications about potential vehicle safety issues for an additional year. The move was prompted by the automaker's recall of 2.6 million cars with potentially faulty ignition switches years after the automaker knew there was a problem. GM is required to submit reports and meet with NHTSA monthly so that the agency can monitor GM's investigation of potential safety issues and other actions. For the air bag recall, NHTSA is exercising legal authority for the first time in history that it gained about 15 years ago from the Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability, and Documentation Act, or TREAD Act.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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OEM Service Website Survey

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is collaborating with the automotive service industry on measuring the usage of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) service information websites used by independent automotive service shops. To help compile data, ASA is asking dealers to participate in a short 10 question survey. Survey results will be shared at a later date in AutoInc. magazine, the official publication published by ASA. Click here to begin the survey.
Source: ASA
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Ford Trims China Output as Market Slows, Pricing Pressure Builds

Ford Motor Co., which is in the midst of a plant-opening blitz in China, reduced production there slightly in the first quarter in response to a market slowdown and price cuts by rivals, the head of Ford’s Asia Pacific region said. Over the long term, the automaker still expects considerable growth in China, where it will have nearly quadrupled annual production capacity since 2011 to 1.9 million vehicles by the end of this year, Ford Asia Pacific chief Dave Schoch said. He said internal projections show the region accounting for 60 percent of Ford’s global sales growth in the next five to 10 years. But in April the company lowered its forecast for 2015 China sales industrywide by 500,000 units and now says it expects growth of 8 percent or less this year.
Source: Automotive News
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Best Memorial Day New-Car Deals

[T]he coming holiday weekend is one of the best times of the year to get up, get out and go car shopping. Dealers’ inventories are well stocked and automakers are dutifully doling out the incentives on high volume and slow selling models alike to keep inventories manageable and to maintain the industry’s upward sales trend. “The warmer weather is finally here, and consumers are back on dealer new vehicle lots,” says Jonathan Banks, executive analyst at the National Auto Dealers Association. “With an abundance of incentives, competitive finance, and lease offers, it isn’t surprising to see new vehicles sell so well.” To that end, Banks says automakers’ incentive spending was up by 3.2 percent last month, at an average $2,671 per vehicle.
Source: Forbes.com
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Quotable

"The warmer weather is finally here, and consumers are back on dealer new vehicle lots. With an abundance of incentives, competitive finance, and lease offers, it isn’t surprising to see new vehicles sell so well."

    -- Jonathan Banks, executive analyst for NADA Used Car Guide, commenting on Memorial Day weekend new-car deals, Forbes, May 21

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