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Inside this issue
CFPB Based Anti-Discrimination Settlements on 'Half-Baked' Statistics
Cash for Nissan's Preferred Dealers
Nissan Profit Boosted By Strong U.S. Demand
Outstanding Auto Loans Hit Record
Plan Would Double Federal Budget for Car Defect Probes
Google's Self-Driving Car Software Considered a Driver by U.S. Agency
GM, UAW Donating $3 Million to Help Flint Children
Top Stories
CFPB Based Anti-Discrimination Settlements on 'Half-Baked' Statistics

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched an anti-discrimination crusade against banks giving auto loans in 2012 based not on specific complaints by consumers, but on "half-baked" statistics, according to a story in The New York Post. In fact, there were no complaints filed with the Bureau at all. Instead, the CFPB issued summary judgments extorting and shaking down banks in an effort to achieve "racial justice."

Can you imagine private citizens or companies conspiring like this to extort cash from a bank?  The Fed and the FDIC would be indicted as conspirators. It's amazing to see separate government entities cooperating to wring money from a bank that is very likely innocent of any discriminatory practices but forced to pay tens of millions of dollars to the government so it can continue to do business. Government by thuggery is what we get when "social justice" is enforced.
Source: American Thinker

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Cash for Nissan's Preferred Dealers

Factory quietly supports facilities, other costs

In its drive to grab more U.S. market share, Nissan North America is quietly forming alliances with selected dealers who get favorable treatment, and sometimes millions of dollars, from the company. One so-called preferred dealer is Bernie Moreno, who has acquired two Nissan and three Infiniti stores in Ohio in the past six years. To help him ramp up and expand, Nissan promised to give him as much as $6.6 million, according to court documents from a case related to an open Infiniti point awarded to Moreno in Coral Gables, Fla.

Moreno is not alone. In the Coral Gables case, a Nissan executive testified the company has given other dealers -- whom he did not name -- even richer packages than Moreno's. David Reuter, a Nissan North America spokesman, said the automaker sees strengthening its retail networks and helping dealers expand as a "real opportunity," although he declined to elaborate about any specific efforts or dealers, including Moreno.
Source: Automotive News

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Nissan Profit Boosted By Strong U.S. Demand

Nissan Motor Co. reported a 24 percent increase in operating profit in the latest quarter on the back of booming North American sales and cost cutting. Global operating profit rose to 192.56 billion yen ($1.60 billion) in the automaker's fiscal third quarter ended Dec. 31, from 155.97 billion yen ($1.29 billion) a year earlier. Net income advanced 25 percent to 127.2 billion yen ($1.06 billion) in the three months, Corporate Vice President Joji Tagawa said while announcing financial results [Wednesday]. Revenue climbed 2.2 percent to 3.01 trillion yen ($24.8 billion), while global retail sales rose 1.7 percent to 1.28 million vehicles. Nissan's earnings got a big boost from hefty sales increases in North America and Asia. North American sales climbed 12 percent to 485,000 vehicles in the quarter, keeping the region's place as Nissan’s biggest market.
Source: Automotive News

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Outstanding Auto Loans Hit Record

Increase led by finance companies, credit unions

The outstanding U.S. auto-loan balance climbed to a record $987 billion in the fourth quarter on rising vehicle sales, Experian Automotive said in part one of its quarterly State of the Automotive Finance Market report released [Tuesday]. Finance companies and credit unions led the increase. The rise marks a 12 percent jump from a year earlier and the highest balance since Experian began reporting the data in 2006.
Source: Automotive News

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Plan Would Double Federal Budget for Car Defect Probes

The White House on Tuesday proposed roughly doubling the budget for the defect-investigation office at the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration from $23.4 million to more than $47 million to boost its effectiveness in quickly identifying defects and notifying consumers. Automakers recalled a record 51.26 million vehicles in 2015. The tally is slightly above 2014’s record, which stood at 50.99 million vehicles after being adjusted downward. The budget increase follows a report last summer by the Transportation Department’s Office of Inspector General, which said the auto safety regulator failed to carefully review safety issues, hold automakers accountable for safety lapses or carefully collect vehicle safety data. The agency is implementing recommended changes, and says the increase in recalls is a result of its increased vigilance.
Source: The Detroit News

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Google's Self-Driving Car Software Considered a Driver by U.S. Agency

Google Inc.’s artificial-intelligence system will be interpreted as a driver by federal regulators, a step toward compliance that would help the tech giant’s self-driving cars hit U.S. roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agrees with Google that its cars “will not have a ‘driver’ in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than 100 years,” the agency said in a Feb. 4 letter to Chris Urmson, director of the company’s self-driving car project. Google asked NHTSA in a November letter for interpretation of safety standards in cars it seeks to produce without traditional controls, such as a steering wheel or throttle and brake pedals.
Source: Bloomberg

Editor's note: John Krafcik, CEO of Google's self-driving car project, is a featured speaker and panelist at the NADA / J.D. Power Automotive Forum in New York City on Tuesday, March 22. For the full agenda or to register, visit
www.autoforumny.com.
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GM, UAW Donating $3 Million to Help Flint Children

General Motors Co. and the United Auto Workers will donate $3 million to the United Way of Genesee County to help support health and education needs for the children of Flint who have been impacted by lead-contaminated water. The nonprofit organization on Tuesday said the five-year commitment “will address immediate, ongoing and growing needs of Flint children affected by lead.” The donation will be broken up into $600,000 per year, according to a GM spokesman.
Source: The Detroit News

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      Quotable
      "It's very clear the driving force is North America. Their new cars have contributed to improvement in both profitability and sales."

          -- Seiji Sugiura, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center, commenting on how strong U.S. demand led to an increase in Nissan's profit, Automotive News, Feb. 10

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