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January 14, 2016 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Lawsuit Alleges Fiat Chrysler Violated Federal Racketeering Laws
U.S. Says No Deal Reached with VW CEO to Fix Diesel Emissions
Auto Executives Dismiss Fears of Plateau in Global Demand
Self-Braking Cars Top 2016 Wish List of U.S. Safety Agency
Detroit Auto Show 2016: Luxury Cars Make a Comeback
Top Stories
Lawsuit Alleges Fiat Chrysler Violated Federal Racketeering Laws

Hang on to your seats — the latest automotive scandal is beginning to erupt, and this one is going to rock the automotive industry. The news broke yesterday that the Napleton Automotive Group filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Illinois alleging that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles violated federal racketeering laws in an attempt to falsify monthly sales numbers. Multiple FCA Business Centers engaged in the scheme using FCA’s Volume Growth Program (VGP) to funnel thousands of dollars to dealers who participated by helping to falsify sales, according to the lawsuit. Participating dealers were also in position to obtain allocation of FCA’s best selling vehicles. It appears the practice may have been widespread throughout several of FCA’s 12 Business Centers.
Source: The Banks Report
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U.S. Says No Deal Reached with VW CEO to Fix Diesel Emissions

U.S. environmental officials said [Wednesday] that no agreement with Volkswagen had been reached on how to fix nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles that emit up to 40 times legally allowable limits after a meeting with the company's CEO. A spokeswoman for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement after the hour long meeting with VW CEO Matthias Mueller that the agency appreciated the conversation. "We will continue to work toward a solution," the spokeswoman said.
Source: Automotive News

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Auto Executives Dismiss Fears of Plateau in Global Demand

Detroit expects low oil prices to persist, driving demand for SUVs and trucks

Convinced that low oil prices are here to stay, domestic auto executives shrugged off concerns about a potential plateau in global automobile demand, issuing bullish forecasts for 2016 and pledging billions of dollars in additional proceeds for shareholders. Oil slipped below $30 a barrel earlier this week for the first time since 2003, as auto companies gathered in Detroit for an annual North American International Auto Show focused on self-driving and electric cars. Today, however, the world’s car companies are profiting from a surge in demand for trucks and sport-utility vehicles. Although those products have been all but unmentioned at the auto show, their popularity puts Detroit in the driver’s seat.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Self-Braking Cars Top 2016 Wish List of U.S. Safety Agency

Safety officials want to see more technology used to reduce accidents on U.S. roads, airways and railroads. In its annual “Most Wanted” list, the National Transportation Safety Board is urging government regulators and industry to move more quickly to adopt equipment that automatically hits the brakes on cars, trucks and trains, as well as devices that monitor operators with video. In some cases, the technologies are offered by automakers but come only on more expensive vehicles.
Source: Bloomberg
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Detroit Auto Show 2016: Luxury Cars Make a Comeback

Patrick Primm, a partner at Cascade Audi in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, had his top sales total ever last year. Primm sold 288 cars, up 8.7 percent over the previous year. Primm’s fruitful 2015 was part of a milestone year for the industry overall, which sold a record 17.39 million vehicles, according to WardsAuto. Audi also had its best year, with record-setting sales of 202,202 vehicles, up 11 percent from 2014. Though the skyrocketing sales of SUVs, which are overtaking sedans, fueled that larger success, there's another segment that is similarly faring well: luxury vehicles. Since 2009, the height of the recession, luxury vehicles have increased their share of the market from 11.5 percent to 12.9 percent in 2015, according to WardsAuto. A rebounding economy is a big factor, along with growth in international markets like China.

Luxury cars have grown at about the same pace as the overall market, "but unlike a lot of other segments, they have been able to maintain their pricing and appeal" in a way other segments have not managed to do, said Steven Szakaly, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Source: The Fiscal Times

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"We believe there has been a permanent shift in consumer choice."

   
-- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV CEO Sergio Marchionne, on rising SUV sales in the U.S., The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 13

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