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Inside this issue
U.S. House Committee Approves Limit on CFPB's Oversight of Auto Lending
Senate Passes Long-Term Highway Bill, Short-Term Extension
U.S. Auto Sales Headed Higher In July; So Are Prices
Dealer Satisfaction Grows When Auto Lenders Embrace E-Contracting
Acura Works to Enhance Customer Experience
VW Rolls Out Crash Avoidance with '16 Lineup
Mixed Crash-Test Results for Aluminum Ford F-150s
LHM Dealerships Collect School Supplies for Colo. Children
Top Stories
U.S. House Committee Approves Limit on CFPB's Oversight of Auto Lending

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee approved a bill Wednesday, 47-10, that would significantly limit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s guidance over auto lending.

The bill aims to “ensure that the CFPB’s auto finance policy is based on accurate analysis and is based on the best interest of consumers,” Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., who introduced the bill with Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H., in April, said during a committee discussion.

The bill would revoke the CFPB’s 2013 auto lending guidance bulletin, which has recommended that auto lenders impose controls on dealer interest rate markups or eliminate dealers’ discretion to mark up loans and compensate them using another mechanism, such as a flat fee per transaction.

“Discrimination in any form cannot be tolerated, and new-car dealers fully support the nation’s fair lending laws and the commitment of federal agencies to ensure fairness,” said Peter Welch, president of the National Automobile Dealers Association. “But the CFPB’s policy of eliminating the ability of a consumer to get a discounted auto loan will restrict access to credit and hurt all consumers.

“Congressmen Guinta and Perlmutter have shown great bipartisan leadership to repeal the CFPB’s flawed guidance on indirect auto financing and protect the right of consumers to find the best credit possible when purchasing their vehicles,” he added. “Consumers have the right to find the best loan possible when purchasing a vehicle, the right to negotiate and the right to seek a better deal and Washington shouldn’t try to deny that right.”
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: Yesterday’s passage of H.R. 1737 was a major step forward for consumers and dealers and represents one of the first successful bipartisan efforts to push back against government overreach in the highly competitive auto lending market. Click here to see committee vote. Please thank Members of Congress who voted in favor of H.R. 1737.
 
NADA will continue its strong grassroots advocacy for CFPB reform on behalf of dealers and will press to have H.R. 1737 considered by the full U.S. House later this year. Dealers should keep building congressional support for this measure particularly while Congress is home for the August recess. Click here for a list of H.R. 1737 cosponsors. Click here for NADA's issue brief and visit
www.nada.org/cfpb for more information.

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Senate Passes Long-Term Highway Bill, Short-Term Extension

The Senate passed its long-term highway bill (HR 22) shortly after noon Thursday, and then agreed to a House-passed three-month extension (HR 3236) before completing work for the day.

For senators involved in crafting the bipartisan bill — a six-year authorization with about three years worth of offsets to plug the hole in the Highway Trust Fund — the solution is not ideal. They would have preferred the House stick around to at least consider accepting the Senate bill.

The House passed a bill to continue transportation funding through October 29, with about an $8 billion transfer to the Highway Trust Fund, before making a quick escape.

McConnell’s decision to work with Boxer to cut a deal allows him to make another claim that the Senate’s gotten back to work. That’s even though on the transportation measure he again made use of procedural tactics to curtail the offering of amendments that he frequently derided while in the minority.

Some senators objected to the attachment of a authorization of the Export-Import Bank, some contested various offsets and still others questioned the efficacy of safety provisions.

Now, all of those issues and the extent to which they were resolved by the Senate will be matters for both the House and likely the eventual conferees who will have to hammer out differences between the two bills.
Source: Roll Call

Editor's note: With Senate work on the multi-year transportation bill completed, NADA is pleased that the Senate-passed bill does not include the Blumenthal used car amendment to ground used cars under open recall. As action on a longer transportation bill moves to the House, NADA will remain vigilant working to defeat any Blumenthal-type amendment, since it would instantly diminish the value of millions of customer trade-ins while not guaranteeing that a single recalled vehicle gets fixed.
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U.S. Auto Sales Headed Higher In July; So Are Prices

Forecasters expect a strong but not spectacular increase of about 3 to 4 percent in U.S. auto sales in July, roughly in line with the increase in auto sales so far this year, and continuing a trend toward higher transaction prices. “The industry continues to outperform prior-year levels with respect to retail sales and transaction prices,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power and Associates. According to the Power Information Network, which gathers transaction data directly from dealerships, the average new-vehicle retail transaction price was an estimated $29,673 in July, on pace to achieve a new record for the month.
Source: Forbes

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Dealer Satisfaction Grows When Auto Lenders Embrace E-Contracting

Dealers like e-contracting. That’s one of the key findings from the 2015 U.S. Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power released this week. Another takeaway: Dealers are willing to pay lenders a premium for good service. When dealers use lender-provided e-contracting, their overall satisfaction averages 913 on a 1,000-point scale, compared with 856 when lenders don’t provide e-contracting, J.D. Power said Monday when results of the study were released. More than half of dealers indicated that faster funding is the main benefit of e-contracting.
Source: Automotive News
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Acura Works to Enhance Customer Experience

An automaker that prides itself on its R&D wants to improve things at the other end of the spectrum: the dealership.

Acura often touts its R&D prowess resulting in vehicles with advanced technology, such as the upcoming ’16 NSX super car. But Honda’s luxury brand is stepping up efforts to enhance things on the other end of the automotive spectrum: the customer dealership experience. “You can spend billions of dollars on R&D, manufacturing and (marketing), but not concentrate as much on the client experience,” says Chuck Kendig, Acura’s assistant vice president-parts and service. Shopping patterns have changed, largely because of the Internet, making customer engagement that much more important, he says at the annual Automotive Customer Centricity Summit. “We’re trying to figure out how to deal with the new reality and still make money.”
Source: WardsAuto
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VW Rolls Out Crash Avoidance with '16 Lineup

From airbags to traction control, luxury cars have defined the vanguard of automotive safety, pioneering the technologies that migrate to mass-market models as costs come down. Volkswagen Group has long sold sensor-based crash prevention systems in high-end models from Audi, Porsche and Bentley. On Wednesday, the German automaker showed the trickle-down effect in action as it detailed plans to roll out features such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and automated parking across its entire U.S. lineup of the plebeian Volkswagen brand for model year 2016.
Source: Automotive News
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Mixed Crash-Test Results for Aluminum Ford F-150s

A tough, independent crash test shows aluminum can be a safe material for pickup bodies. But two Ford F-150 models with different configurations — one a crew cab and the other an extended cab — scored far differently in safety tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on Thursday awarded Ford’s 2015 F-150 four-door crew cab its coveted Top Safety Pick. Its sister version, the two-door extended cab, got only a marginal rating in a test that measures what happens when the front corner of a vehicle hits a utility pole at 40 mph. F-150s are the only aluminum-bodied trucks on the market and were the first full-size pickups to undergo IIHS testing of the so-called small overlap crash test.
Source: The Detroit News

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LHM Dealerships Collect School Supplies for Colo. Children

Stores that are a part of Larry H. Miller Dealerships in Colorado are joining with Denver’s 9NEWS and the Volunteers of America (VOA) for the 14th annual “Stuff for Students” school supply drive. During the entire month of August, officials highlighted the seven Larry H. Miller Dealership locations statewide will be collecting essential school supply items. VOA indicated that it will sort the donated supplies and distribute them to more than 15 Colorado school districts, based on the percentage of students who receive free/reduced lunches.
Source: Auto Remarketing
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Quotable
"Consumers have the right to find the best loan possible when purchasing a vehicle, the right to negotiate and the right to seek a better deal  and Washington shouldn’t try to deny that right."

   
-- NADA President Peter Welch, commenting on passage of H.R. 1737 on Wednesday by a House committee vote of 47 to 10, Automotive News, July 29 

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