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Inside this issue
Automotive Forum: IHS and J.D. Power to Provide Global and U.S. Economic Outlook of Auto Industry
Automakers' Best February Since 2000 Aided by Cheap Gas, Holiday
Fiat Chrysler CEO Denies Merger Talks With Peugeot Citroën
Toyota Revises Structure to Address Product Segments and R&D Needs, Position Itself for Growth
Study: 3 Out of 4 People Afraid to Drive Autonomous Car
Top Stories
Automotive Forum: IHS and J.D. Power to Provide Global and U.S. Economic Outlook of Auto Industry

Nariman Behravesh, IHS chief economist, and John Humphrey, senior vice president and general manager of global automotive for J.D. Power, will provide an insightful analysis of the factors and trends shaping the economy and auto industry during presentations at the 2016 Automotive Forum in New York City on Tuesday, March 22. Following their remarks, CNBC’s Phil LeBeau will moderate a panel session.



Another major topic at the forum is “Future Mobility.” Speakers include 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. Tim Stevens, CNET editor, will moderate a panel session.

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.

Other speakers and panelists include Ludwig Willisch, president and CEO of BMW North America, and Joe Eberhardt, president and CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, who will discuss the luxury market.

The full-day Automotive Forum, hosted by NADA, J.D. Power and the New York International Auto Show, will be held at the Grand Hyatt in New York City on Tuesday, March 22. Press days at the auto show begin March 23. For the full agenda or to register, visit www.autoforumny.com.
Source: NADA

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Automakers' Best February Since 2000 Aided by Cheap Gas, Holiday

Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Honda Motor Co. led automakers as the U.S. posted the best February sales since 2000, with buyers taking advantage of cheap gasoline, low interest rates and Presidents Day deals. The results bolstered prospects that the U.S. could see another record year for vehicle sales, a bright spot in an economy that has slowed of late. Sales rose 6.9 percent to 1.34 million light vehicles and February’s annualized selling rate was 17.5 million, up 1.1 million from a year earlier, researcher Autodata said. The pace shows that the U.S. economy has some underlying strength as job growth, low interest rates and a large base of older cars on the road keep buyers streaming into dealerships.
Source: Bloomberg

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Fiat Chrysler CEO Denies Merger Talks With Peugeot Citroën

Sergio Marchionne says firm isn't discussing tie-ups with any car manufacturers

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV isn’t discussing a merger with PSA Peugeot Citroën, or with any other car manufacturer, the Italian-American automobile maker’s chief executive said Tuesday. Sergio Marchionne’s comments were made at a news conference at the Geneva Motor Show, and follow speculation over the past week that the two companies might have begun initial talks. Peugeot Chief Executive Carlos Tavares fanned the conjecture last week when he said he was willing to discuss tie-ups with other car makers now that his firm has hit its medium-term financial targets.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Toyota Revises Structure to Address Product Segments and R&D Needs, Position Itself for Growth

Toyota Motor Corp. said it will create new business units focused around product segments and roll out a new advanced strategic planning center to plot growth in an era in which sales exceed 10 million units and new technologies are needed. The changes, announced today as part of the company’s annual leadership shuffle, promote Frenchman Didier Leroy to a new role as chief competitive officer. He will keep his title of president of the business group heading mature markets, including the United States, Europe and Japan. Toyota will create three new product-oriented business units. One focuses on compact cars, another on midsize cars, the other on commercial vehicles. It will also launch a special unit focused on connected vehicles.

Moritaka Yoshida, Toyota’s chief safety technology officer, will take over as head of the new midsize vehicle company. Kazuhiro Miyauchi, senior managing officer for product and business planning, will lead the compact vehicle division. Keiji Masui, chief officer of purchasing, will head commercial vehicles. The new structure, which takes effect in April, aims to create better cross-company communication, faster decision making and improved collaboration to make better vehicles, Toyota said.
Source: Automotive News

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Study: 3 Out of 4 People Afraid to Drive Autonomous Car

Three out of 4 U.S. drivers are afraid to ride in a self-driving car, according to a new AAA study released Tuesday. The automobile club’s study also found that only 1 in 5 Americans say they would trust an autonomous vehicle to drive itself. Despite their initial trepidations, the study found that gradual experience can lessen that fear. The study said drivers who own vehicles with semi-autonomous features are 75 percent more likely to trust the technology than first-time users.
Source: The Detroit News

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         ---  Michelle Krebs, an analyst for AutoTrader.com, on strong U.S. auto sales, Bloomberg, March 1

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