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March 7, 2016 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Leasing of Light Vehicles Sets Record in February
Not All Car Sales Are Created Equal, So Detroit 3 Adjust
After VW Cheated, Tests Got Tougher
BMW's Innovation, Adaptability Will Be Tested in the 21st Century
Mercedes: U.S. is Key Market for Updated SL
Four New Stamps Honor Famous Pickup Trucks
Top Stories
Leasing of Light Vehicles Sets Record in February

Nearly a third of cars sold were leased, keeping monthly payments down

Vehicle leasing as a percentage of monthly light-vehicle sales hit a record in February, representing nearly one-third of retail volume and helping to keep down the average monthly auto payment. J.D. Power estimates 32.3% of the 1.03 million cars and light trucks booked as sold by auto makers were financed via a lease agreement. That percentage was sharply higher than the 28% average for leasing set over the course of 2015, which was a record year for both leasing volume and light-vehicle sales. In January, 31.6% of retail vehicle sales were leases. The firm released the new numbers Friday.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Not All Car Sales Are Created Equal, So Detroit 3 Adjust

The U.S. auto industry — in the seventh year of a robust recovery — is rethinking how it measures sales, giving greater weight to quality over quantity. General Motors is consciously de-emphasizing sales to daily rental fleets, a path it pursued much of last year. Ford, at least for now, is moving in the opposite direction, relying on those bulk customers for 36% of its sales last month. Fiat Chrysler, the most dependent on fleets, saw its daily rental sales grow 18.5% last year, according to data compiled by Automotive Fleet, a trade publication. Why does it matter? Fleet sales bring in a lower profit margin, and they also glut the used car market, pushing down prices.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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After VW Cheated, Tests Got Tougher

Regulator scrutiny slows launches

Automakers from Detroit to Tokyo are paying a price for Volkswagen AG's emissions cheating scandal as environmental regulators intensify their efforts to root out violations. Regulators are taking an extra-long look at new-vehicle emissions before giving their stamp of approval, a trend that could delay vehicle launches. So far, only Volkswagen has been formally accused of deliberately manipulating emissions to fool lab tests. But top executives from more than half a dozen automakers say the scandal eroded the auto industry's credibility in the eyes of European and U.S. environmental regulators.
Source: Automotive News

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BMW's Innovation, Adaptability Will Be Tested in the 21st Century

When BMW began competing against perennial archrival Daimler a hundred years ago, the company wasn't building luxury cars but engines that powered World War I propeller planes. It was only in 1960, when the company was on the verge of collapse, that BMW was forced to sell its core airplane engine business to survive. As the company prepares to mark its 100-year anniversary this month with a celebration in Munich's Olympiahalle, it finds itself entering a disruptive digital age commonly called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. A resurgent Mercedes-Benz, slowing China car sales and rising competition from tech juggernauts Google and Apple are just some of the challenges it faces.
Source: Automotive News

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Mercedes: U.S. is Key Market for Updated SL

Execs hope more power, style will stop roadster's sales slide

When the refreshed 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL goes on sale early this summer, the U.S. will be the key test for how the updated roadster resonates with consumers. "The U.S. market is the most important market for the SL," said Joerg Otto, head of vehicle testing for the SL, at a media event in [San Diego]. Mercedes-Benz executives are banking that stronger styling and sportier handling will make a difference with buyers. "This should be an emotional car," said Bart Herring, general manager of product management for Mercedes-Benz USA. "That's what the segment is all about. Even our base car; some people have said that's maybe the funnest one."
Source: Automotive News

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Four New Stamps Honor Famous Pickup Trucks

The U.S. Postal Service plans to issue forever stamps honoring four classic pickup trucks this year. The stamps include one pickup each from the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s, chronicling pickup design’s evolution from ripe curves to upright and utilitarian. The Postal Service says they “celebrate the rugged and reliable work vehicles Americans have driven for nearly a century.” The stamps will also give pickup lovers plenty to argue about. There’s a gorgeous two-tone 1938 International, a ’53 Chevy and two Fords: a '48 F-1 and ’65 F-100.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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