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Inside this issue
Ram and Jeep Push FCA Up 12%; Others Expected to Follow Suit
VW to Revisit U.S. Sales Goals After Emissions Cloud Lifts
Fiat Makes Biggest Europe Push in Decade to Save 2018 Goals
Gov't Safety Head: Total Takata Recall Won't Make Cars Safer
Takata Air Bag Recalls Keep Piling Up, But Millions Have Been Fixed
Securing Connected-Car Tech Will Take 1 to 3 Years, Survey Says
Top Stories
Ram and Jeep Push FCA Up 12%; Others Expected to Follow Suit

Fiat Chrysler rode strong demand for Rams and Jeeps to a 12 percent U.S. sales increase last month, kicking off a reporting day projected by analysts to yield the strongest February for the industry since 2000. FCA US said it sold 182,879 vehicles last month, its 71st consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases. FCA said its February sales were the highest since 2006. U.S. auto sales, after being slowed in January by winter storms, were on pace to reach the highest level for any February since 2000, analysts said. Purchases delayed from January and a bevy of Presidents Day deals were expected to have stepped February sales up for almost all automakers. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted an average increase of 1.2 million units to the seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate from February 2015 of 16.4 million. If accurate, it would be the best February sales since 2000, when the SAAR came in at 18.9 million.
Source: Automotive News

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VW to Revisit U.S. Sales Goals After Emissions Cloud Lifts

The head of the Volkswagen brand said the embattled marque will revisit U.S. sales goals only after resolving diesel emissions violations with U.S. regulators. VW’s U.S. deliveries fell 15 percent in January from a year earlier, extending a three-year streak of falling sales during the U.S. auto market’s post-recession rebound. VW brand volume slipped 4.8 percent to 349,440 vehicles in 2015, a record year for the industry with volume up 5.7 percent to 17.47 million cars and light trucks. It’s been a difficult road for the brand that once aimed to sell 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. by 2018, but a rebound isn’t VW’s top priority right now, says VW brand chief Herbert Diess.
Source: Automotive News

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Fiat Makes Biggest Europe Push in Decade to Save 2018 Goals

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is embarking on its biggest expansion in Europe in at least a decade, as the Italian-American carmaker faces crunch time in a strategy to more than double profit by 2018. After delaying investment in the region for years, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne is going all-in at the Geneva International Motor Show this week with 10 new or refreshed models, ranging from the affordable Fiat Tipo to the upscale Maserati Levante sport utility vehicle. Alfa Romeo is a particular focus with entry-level and performance variants of the new Giulia sedan, as well as refreshed styling and upgraded features on the Giulietta hatchback.
Source: Bloomberg

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Gov't Safety Head: Total Takata Recall Won't Make Cars Safer

The nation's top auto safety regulator says an immediate recall of all Takata air bags wouldn't provide significant safety benefits and could exceed the government's legal authority. A recall of all Takata air bag inflators also would strain the network for replacement parts and increase uncertainty for consumers, Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, wrote in a letter to a legislator.
Source: Associated Press

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Takata Air Bag Recalls Keep Piling Up, But Millions Have Been Fixed

Recalls for potentially faulty Takata air bags keep getting bigger and bigger, so it’s easy to overlook there’s some positive news in the fact that millions of air bags have already been replaced since the scandal broke in May 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The latest addition to the disaster was last month, when NHTSA announced the ninth U.S. fatality caused by a rupture of a Takata air bag inflator, and the tenth worldwide. At the same time, NHTSA and Takata announced expanded recalls, affecting roughly 5 million vehicles. Certain makes and models made by the Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Saab and Volkswagen brands are affected, the safety agency said. That expansion brought to more than 28 million the total number of inflators under recall in the United States., NHTSA said. The agency earlier issued Takata the largest civil penalty in NHTSA history for failing to disclose the defects in its inflators and for providing NHTSA with selective, incomplete, or inaccurate data about its inflators.

Meanwhile, progress is being made getting recall work done at dealerships. NHTSA said that as of Feb. 12, more than 7.1 million air bags combined have been repaired or replaced as a result of the ongoing Takata recalls, including about 4.1 million driver’s-side air bags, and 3 million passenger-side air bags.
Source: Forbes

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Securing Connected-Car Tech Will Take 1 to 3 Years, Survey Says

Automakers and suppliers believe it will take one to three years to secure connected-car technology, according to a new study. The survey of manufacturers, parts makers and European drivers by International Data Corp. and commissioned by security company Veracode found that while the auto industry is aware of potential privacy and safety problems and is working to resolve them, it is unclear how quickly the potential problems can be addressed. Veracode Chief Technology Officer Chris Wysopal said that in the wake of last year’s hacking of a Jeep Cherokee by a pair of professional computer hackers, manufacturers and suppliers have a greater understanding than ever of cyberthreats. But survey respondents -- including Fiat Chrysler, Bosch and Delphi -- said on average that it will be one to three years before connected-car technology will be secure.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: One of the major topics at the NADA/J.D. Power Automotive Forum in New York City on Tuesday, March 22, is “Future Mobility.” Key stakeholders in the discussion include speakers and panelists Stephen Odell, executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service for Ford Motor Co.; Peter Welch, NADA president; and Joe Vitale, global automotive sector lead for Deloitte. John Krafcik, CEO of Google's self-driving cars program, will deliver remarks and sit down with Finbarr O'Neill, J.D. Power president, for a Q&A session. In addition, Anne Ferro, president of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, and Blair Anderson, NHTSA deputy administrator, will provide a state and federal government perspective, respectively, on future mobility. For the full agenda or to register, visit www.autoforumny.com.

 
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    "There is much more to come, so prepare yourself for more unveilings. We are in good shape. I don’t have any bad news to give you." 

       --- FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne, speaking at the Geneva International Motor Show this week, Bloomberg, March 1


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