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Inside this issue
NADA President in NYT: What Drivers Really Need
WSJ Video: Consumer Financial Profiling Bureau
Automotive News: New Credit Scoring Deepens Loan Pool
Used-Vehicle Prices Dip, but Remain Unusually Strong, Manheim Index Shows
Why U.S. Imports Of Chinese-Made Buicks Will Be The Exception, Not The Rule
Auto Dealer Websites Get Better
Top Stories
NADA President in NYT: What Drivers Really Need
By NADA President Peter Welch

Re “Dealers Selling Electric Cars Short” (Dec. 1): Car dealers are in the business of helping consumers find vehicles that best suit their needs, desires and budgets. And the reality is that electric vehicles — and the infrastructure that supports them — unfortunately do not yet suit the needs, desires or budgets of most car buyers.

Will I be able to find a recharging station if my errands run longer than anticipated? How long will recharging take? What if a new job doubles or triples the distance of my commute? Can I really afford the additional upfront cost of an electric vehicle? These are real-world questions that, understandably, lead many consumers to conclude that an electric vehicle simply is not right for them.

That is why accusing auto dealers of being the chief skeptics standing in the way of increased electric vehicles sales assumes a rather dull and, quite frankly, insulting view of the consumer. Does The New York Times really believe that consumers do not put any thought behind the second-biggest purchase many of them will ever make?

Car dealers fully embrace the importance of electric vehicles to growing segments of the market — which is exactly why dealers have fought so hard to be able to include them in their franchised fleets. But dealers know better than anyone that, at the end of the day, the consumer is king. This article does not do readers any favors by simply glossing over that reality.
Source: The New York Times
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WSJ Video: Consumer Financial Profiling Bureau

Business World Columnist Holman Jenkins Jr. on the federal enforcement agency’s flawed model of racial discrimination in auto lending. Click here for the video.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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Automotive News: New Credit Scoring Deepens Loan Pool
By Hannah Lutz

New ways of using alternative consumer data and scoring credit risk are expanding the number of people who qualify for auto loans. Auto loan balances and originations are growing. Experian says total auto loan debt reached $968 billion in the third quarter, up 11 percent from the year-earlier period. And Equifax reported auto loan originations this year through July reached $341.2 billion, up 9 percent from a year earlier. Certainly, robust U.S. auto sales are driving most of the growth in auto loans. But changes in evaluating credit data also seem to be fueling the gains.
Source: Automotive News

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Used-Vehicle Prices Dip, but Remain Unusually Strong, Manheim Index Shows

Despite a slight dip, wholesale used-vehicle prices last month remained robust, according to a widely watched index released [Monday]. After five consecutive months of increases, the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index in November stood at 125.1, edging down from 125.3 in October but up solidly from 123.3 a year earlier. The index measures changes in used-vehicle prices and is adjusted for vehicle make, mileage and time of year. It started in January 1995 at 100.
Source: Automotive News
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Why U.S. Imports Of Chinese-Made Buicks Will Be The Exception, Not The Rule

Last week, Buick announced its Envision SUV will come to U.S. showrooms from assembly lines in China. What does this mean for Buick’s future, and the future of auto manufacturing in the U.S.? This is about General Motors leveraging a global production network, and about Buick’s sales in China far exceeding those in the United States. The move does not signal a decline in the importance of production in the U.S. or in NAFTA for GM. That said, for the Buick brand itself, there is significant change on the wind.
Source: Forbes
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Auto Dealer Websites Get Better

Visits to dealer websites have increased 73% in the last decade, according to J.D. Power.

Dealer websites are getting better. And they’re getting more car-shopper visits as a result, says a market researcher who tracks such online activity. Visits to dealer websites have increased 73% in the past decade, a time during which those sites visually and functionally have improved, says Arianne Walker, J.D. Power’s senior director-automotive media and marketing solutions.
Source: WardsAuto
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Quotable
"Car dealers fully embrace the importance of electric vehicles to growing segments of the market — which is exactly why dealers have fought so hard to be able to include them in their franchised fleets."

    -- NADA President Peter Welch in a letter to the editor of The New York Times, Dec. 8

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