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January 13, 2016 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Auto Show Press Preview Includes Statistics, Surprises and Apologies
World Auto Sales Expected to Grow to 89 Million Vehicles in 2016
VW CEO Faces Crucial Meeting After California Board Rejects Diesel Fix
Detroit News: Getting Smart About Auto Safety
Nissan CEO Ghosn: Auto Industry Consolidation is Here
GM to Launch Online Portal for Low-Mileage Used Cars
Google to Seek Auto-Industry Input on Self-Driving Cars
Top Stories
Auto Show Press Preview Includes Statistics, Surprises and Apologies

It was a media metropolis at the beginning of the 2016 North American International Auto Show. Beyond the usual new unveilings that get car enthusiasts excited, the opening of this year’s NAIAS had a lot to do with numbers. Specifically, presidents and chairmen wasted no time touting their respective companies’ sales numbers.

Steven Szakaly, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association, said that in 2015 the United States saw a record 17.4 million light vehicles retailed — a jump of 5.8 percent from the year before. The average transaction was $33,269. That number is expected to rise to 17.7 million vehicles — or another 2 percent — in the 2016 calendar year. It would be the seventh-consecutive year of auto growth.
Source: C&G Newspaper

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World Auto Sales Expected to Grow to 89 Million Vehicles in 2016

German supplier Continental AG expects global production of cars and light trucks to grow only slightly in 2016, to 89 million vehicles from about 88 million in 2015. The forecast of modest growth reflects the new reality faced by auto makers and parts suppliers in an industry no longer enjoying rapid growth in China and substantial gains in the U.S. market.
Source: Automotive News
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VW CEO Faces Crucial Meeting After California Board Rejects Diesel Fix

Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller faces a crucial meeting today with U.S. regulators to discuss ways out of its emissions-cheating crisis, a day after the California Air Resources Board rejected its initial proposed diesel engine fix. California spurned the automaker's December recommendation for how to fix 2.0-liter diesel engines as "incomplete." VW said it will present a reworked plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the meeting in Washington. Mueller is scheduled to meet with EPA chief Gina McCarthy and members of Congress this morning.
Source: Bloomberg

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Detroit News: Getting Smart About Auto Safety
By Deborah A.P. Hersman

Nearly a century ago, auto pioneer Henry Ford said, “The remains of the old must be decently laid away; the path of the new prepared. Today, manufacturers are in an arms race to be as cutting edge as possible. Automakers have lived out Ford’s vision of constant progress responding to consumers and designing better vehicles. Our cars are Wi-Fi enabled and you don’t need a key to turn them on. But what will constitute the revolution Ford called for? Are we focused on the wrong advances? What about safety?

Car crashes remain a leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., and approximately 90 percent of fatalities are caused by human error. Some safety technologies have been around for years: anti-lock braking, electronic stability control, air bags and energy-absorbing interiors. But that was a 52-year evolution. In the last decade, progress has been so fast that many drivers are unaware of what cars can do. Vehicles have dozens of technologies to aid the driver: drowsiness alerts, lane departure warnings, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring — and more. Our cars are smart and getting smarter all the time. It is time we get smart too.
Source: The Detroit News
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Nissan CEO Ghosn: Auto Industry Consolidation is Here

Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, said the best way for automakers to cut development costs is to work together through partnerships

Consolidation, as Carlos Ghosn defines it, is already happening in the global automotive industry and will continue to occur as product development, regulatory and technology costs continue to escalate. Ghosn, CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, said the best way for automakers to reduce development costs is to work together through partnerships. Ghosn spoke Tuesday night in Detroit at Automotive News World Congress, an industry conference.
Source: Detroit Free Press
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GM to Launch Online Portal for Low-Mileage Used Cars

General Motors plans to launch an online service to sell low-mileage used cars to consumers nationwide, a bid to capture the growing number of car shoppers who prefer to browse digitally. The site will offer an online inventory of GM vehicles returned off lease, from daily-rental operators and from GM’s company car program. The vehicles will have a maximum of 37,000 miles and include an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty, GM said. The portal is expected to host an inventory of about 30,000 vehicles, GM said. Called the Factory Pre-Owned Collection, the system will include cars from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac. The brands’ Web sites and the sites of participating dealers will link to a new Web portal where shoppers can browse thousands of used cars.
Source: Automotive News
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Google to Seek Auto-Industry Input on Self-Driving Cars

The head of Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car project said the tech giant is entering a phase where more collaboration is needed with auto industry players on vehicle autonomy. John Krafcik, in remarks prepared for an industry trade conference hosted by Automotive News in Detroit, said “in the next stage of this project, we will need to partner more, not less.” Mr. Krafcik joined Google X, the experimental segment of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company, in September. “We would like to form some partnerships this year,” he said.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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"We are living peak auto sales right now, and we will see one more year of that growth in 2016."

   
-- NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly, on U.S. auto sales in 2016, C&G Newspaper, Jan. 11

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