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Inside this issue
Potential Senate Vote on Amendment to Prohibit Dealers from Selling a Used Vehicle under Recall
Senate Votes to Take up Highway Funding Bill
GM Earns $1.1B in Q2 as Pickup, SUV Sales Surge in U.S.
Ford Seeks to Shake Stigma of Detroit's Most Generous Automaker
Porsche Tops J.D. Power Study of New Vehicle Appeal
Buick Parties to Announce 24-Hour Test Drives
Volkswagen's Chattanooga Plant Builds 500,000th Passat
Top Stories
Potential Senate Vote on Amendment to Prohibit Dealers from Selling a Used Vehicle under Recall

Sen. Richard Blumenthal's (D-Conn.) amendment to prohibit dealers from selling, or even wholesaling, a used vehicle under open recall may come to the Senate floor for a vote as part of the transportation bill (H.R. 22). Yesterday, the Senate started debate on a multi-year transportation bill, and Sen. Blumenthal threatened to attach his amendment to the bill on the Senate floor in the next week. 

Sen. Blumenthal's amendment to ground used vehicles under open recall was defeated in the Senate Commerce Committee on July 15 by a party line vote of 13-11. Eleven Democratic Senators voted to support this ill-conceived amendment, which included Blumenthal, Cory Booker (N.J.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Gary Peters (Mich.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), and Tom Udall (N.M.).

NADA urges dealers to contact their Senators today and tell them to vote “No” on the Blumenthal Used Car Recall Amendment to the Senate transportation bill.


The “Blumenthal amendment” is flawed because it would give consumers less options when buying or trading-in a vehicle. Additionally, by devaluing trade-ins and not similarly regulating private sales, frustrated vehicle owners will resort to selling their vehicles in the private market, where the consumer has almost no safety or consumer protections, making it even less likely the vehicles will get fixed.

The amendment is not a solution to boosting recall completion rates. It does not address the shortage of recall parts or why a quarter of vehicle owners simply choose not to fix their vehicle. Grounding vehicles with open recalls will not lead to faster repairs. The best way to strengthen consumer protections is to ensure that the most pressing safety recall issues are fixed in a timely manner. The Senate should reject the Blumenthal amendment.

Dealers and their customers are urged to call their Senators at 202.224.3121 and ask them to oppose the anti-consumer Blumenthal amendment during the transportation bill debate. Contact information for the Senate offices is also available at www.senate.gov. Click here for NADA's issue brief on vehicle recall legislation and click here for talking points opposing the Blumenthal amendment.
Source: NADA Legislative Affairs 

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Senate Votes to Take up Highway Funding Bill

In a 62-36 vote, the Senate came up with enough votes to meet a 60-vote threshold to prevent a filibuster

The Senate on Wednesday narrowly agreed to take up a highway-funding bill, clearing the first hurdle in what is expected to be a contentious debate over the next week. In a 62-36 vote, the Senate came up with enough votes to meet a 60-vote threshold to prevent a filibuster. The outcome was a relief for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who a day earlier ran into a roadblock when he failed to win an initial attempt at clearing the procedural hurdle. Congress needs to extend the program that funds roads, bridges and mass transit by an expiration date of July 31. Lawmakers also need to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, whose income is rapidly dwindling because its primary source of funding is an 18.4-cent a gallon federal gas tax that isn’t enough to meet spending needs. The measure advanced with the support of 14 Democrats and two Independents.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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GM Earns $1.1B in Q2 as Pickup, SUV Sales Surge in U.S.

General Motors earned $1.1  billion, or $1.29 per share in the second quarter, beating Wall Street expectations as surging sales of large pickups, SUVs and crossovers in the U.S. more than offset slowing growth in China. The performance was much stronger than the $190 million GM earned in the second quarter of 2014 when it took a $400 million charge related to an unprecedented wave of recalls, including the ignition switch defect. Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens said GM expects second-half pre-tax profit to be even stronger than the $5 billion in the first six months of the year.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Ford Seeks to Shake Stigma of Detroit's Most Generous Automaker

Ford Motor Co., beset by the highest U.S. labor costs in the industry, is seeking to use contract talks this summer to ease the burden. GM and Fiat Chrysler have had an advantage, dating back to bankruptcies in 2009, that lets both automakers hire lower-wage workers in unlimited numbers. Ford, by contrast, has had to give 48 percent raises to more than 800 factory employees this year. Ford gets a chance to remedy the imbalance starting Thursday, when it opens talks with the United Auto Workers on a replacement for the four-year contract that expires Sept. 14. Ford has complained that its labor costs have ballooned above those of its domestic competitors because it isn’t subject to the same terms in a wage system that has enabled the Detroit Three to hire 39,150 workers in the last four years.
Source: Bloomberg
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Porsche Tops J.D. Power Study of New Vehicle Appeal

The Porsche brand ranks the highest for the 11th straight year in a study that measures the appeal of owning and driving a new vehicle. Three brands including Porsche, Chevrolet and Ford also received three vehicle segment awards in the J.D. Power 2015 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study released Wednesday. Chevrolet won segment awards for the Colorado midsize pickup, Corvette sports car and Sonic subcompact. Fdord won for the C-Max hybrid, Expedition SUV and F-150 pickup. Porsche received top awards for the Cayenne SUV, Cayman sports car and Macan SUV. Audi, BMW, Dodge, Mazda and Mini each had two segment award wins. Dodge won for the Challenger and Charger muscle cars. J.D. Power based its rankings on responses from more than 84,000 people who bought and leased 2015 vehicles and who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The vehicles were registered between February and May.
Source: The Detroit News
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Buick Parties to Announce 24-Hour Test Drives

Buick, seeking to freshen its image and appeal to younger buyers, launched a new sales tactic Wednesday at a celebrity-studded party. The General Motors brand plans to give prospective buyers the chance to borrow one of its vehicles for 24 hours at a time in order to show them how good the product has become. To underscore its "24 hours of happiness" campaign, Buick kicked off the event [in Los Angeles] with a party at a studio space that had a distinctly L.A. vibe -- a bank of massage therapists, waiters passing around bottles of juice and canapes topped with macadamia-nut cheese, and lots of talk about yoga.
Source: USA Today
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Volkswagen's Chattanooga Plant Builds 500,000th Passat

Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant has completed its 500,000th Passat. The company said in a news release on Wednesday that the car was a candy white limited edition. The Passat sedan was the winner of the 2012 Motor Trend Magazine Car of the Year award. Volkswagen Chattanooga, which began production in April 2011, is currently undertaking a $900 million expansion to add a second model to the Chattanooga line. The expansion is expected to add 2,000 jobs and the North American Engineering and Planning Center and will produce a seven-seat, midsize SUV.
Source: The Detroit News
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Quotable
"The first two quarters of the year were strong as we fully capitalized on a robust North American market and maintained our strength in China, despite the challenging conditions in that market."

   
-- General Motors CEO Mary Barra, commenting on the automaker's $1.1 billion earnings in the second quarter, Detroit Free Press, July 23

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