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Inside this issue
Commentary: 47-10: Fair Credit and Consumer Competition Wins a Round
Dealertrack to Sell Inventory-Management Business to Clear Way for Cox Merger
Toyota, Scion Target Younger Consumers with Online Sales, Finance Too
Audi, Mercedes Ready Challenges to Tesla Luxury Electric Car Dominance
Toyota to Seek Price Cuts from Suppliers after 1-Year Pause
EFG, Northwood Team Up for F&I Competition
Top Stories
Commentary: 47-10: Fair Credit and Consumer Competition Wins a Round
By Bill Fox

On one side of the arena is the Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act (H.R. 1737 for short.) This is where NADA and its allies stand, working hard to preserve dealer-assisted financing. This grassroots battle started at the steps of the Capitol. And members of Congress have listened to the earnest call from NADA, industry partners and franchised dealers everywhere. The U.S. House Financial Services Committee responded by passing a bill that would rescind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's flawed auto finance guidance; a guidance that threatens to eliminate a customer's ability to get a discount in the showroom. 

H.R. 1737, introduced this April by Reps. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) and Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), passed in committee by an overwhelming 47-10 vote last month. This vote represents countless hours of hard work and dedication, dozens of meetings and phone calls between the industry and Congress, and an ingrained commitment to do what's best for consumers nationwide. On the other side of the arena stands the CFPB. Click here for the full commentary.
Source: NADA

Bill Fox is 2015 NADA chairman and a multi-franchise dealer in upstate New York.

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Dealertrack to Sell Inventory-Management Business to Clear Way for Cox Merger

Dealertrack Technologies Inc. has moved to clear a regulatory impediment to its merger with Cox Automotive by agreeing to sell its inventory-management software business to DealerSocket for $55 million in cash, Dealertrack said today. DealerSocket, a major provider of customer relationship management software, has been in acquisition mode in recent months. It has bought two companies that sell store operating software to used-car dealerships and now the Dealertrack unit. Inventory-management software helps dealerships buy and price used vehicles by giving staff visibility into what similar vehicles in their markets are fetching. Dealertrack is selling the unit, called Inventory+, to remove a potential sticking point in its merger with Cox Automotive, a deal currently under anti-trust review by the U.S. Department of Justice. In June, Cox Automotive agreed to buy publicly traded Dealertrack for $4 billion in cash.
Source: Automotive News

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Toyota, Scion Target Younger Consumers with Online Sales, Finance Too

Toyota and Scion are targeting young consumers with a new car-buying program that will enable customers to start both the shopping experience and financing process online. “Customers want the transparency of costs associated with their specific deal, so we’d like to provide them with as much detail as possible,” a spokeswoman for Scion told Automotive News this week. The Toyota brand plans to launch its online shopping tool in six to 12 months, Bill Fay, general manager of Toyota Division, told Automotive News this month at a media event in Seattle. Toyota dealers will get a preview of the online service at a national dealer meeting in September, he said. “Millennials are starting to express the fact that they'd like to do more shopping online,” Fay said. “They’d like to connect that shopping to a buying experience ... that needs to be quicker and more transparent.”
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: Bill Fay is a keynote speaker at the NADA / J.D. Power AutoConference LA on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. Click here for more details.

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Audi, Mercedes Ready Challenges to Tesla Luxury Electric Car Dominance

Audi plans to challenge Tesla’s dominance of the luxury electric vehicle market when it introduces a sport-utility vehicle at the Frankfurt, Germany auto show next month. Called the Audi e-tron quattro, the sporty SUV concept auto will provide the first look at the luxury brand’s plans for fully electric cars. Audi, a division of Volkswagen, is expected to produce an electric SUV based on the concept starting in 2018. Mercedes-Benz may be making a similar move. Auto Motor Und Sport, Germany's top auto magazine, is reporting that Mercedes is going to abandon the electric powertrain it purchases from Tesla for its electric B-class car for a new system with a range of about 300 miles.
Source: Los Angeles Times

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Toyota to Seek Price Cuts from Suppliers after 1-Year Pause

Toyota Motor plans to ask its parts makers to cut prices for the first time in about a year, perceiving that it needs to gain competitiveness independent of a weak yen and other tailwinds. The automaker made the decision even as it expects to report a record $22.3 billion in consolidated operating profit for the year ending March 2016. Toyota negotiates prices of auto body and engine components every six months with about 450 suppliers, including members of the Kyohokai organization consisting of its key vendors. Generally, Toyota would ask the suppliers that they cooperate with cost-cutting, and request that part of the savings be returned to the automaker in the form of lower prices. Often, Toyota asks discounts ranging from 1% to 1.5% depending on the progress of streamlining efforts.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review

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EFG, Northwood Team Up for F&I Competition

Six teams of Northwood junior and senior automotive marketing and management undergrads will compete for $25,000 this fall.

EFG Companies, of Hyundai Assurance fame, and Northwood University have partnered on a new F&I Innovator of the Year Award. “This competition exemplifies the Northwood University philosophy of hands-on learning,” the Midland, Mich.-based school says in a statement. “It provides our students the unique opportunity to see first-hand how entrepreneurism and leadership can impact the industry as a whole.” For the first competition for the annual award, six teams of Northwood junior and senior undergraduates specializing in automotive marketing and management will compete to “conceptualize and build a new F&I product while earning course credit.”
Source: WardsAuto
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Quotable
"Taking away a customer's right to find the best loan possible, or the right to negotiate, or the right to find a better deal, is not what Washington should be doing."

   
-- NADA Chairman Bill Fox, in a commentary on the CFPB's misguided policy on indirect auto financing, August 2015

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