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April 5, 2016 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Dealer Finance and Franchise System Under Attack, Says NADA Chairman
Volkswagen Promises Dealers It Will 'Rebrand' In The U.S., Doesn't Say How
Toyota, Microsoft Team Up on Connected-Car Technologies
Supercars Could Go Silent as Hybrids, Self-Driving Take Hold
Ford Invests $170M, Creates 1,200 Jobs in South Africa
Automakers, Suppliers See ICE Alternatives Surging
Top Stories
Dealer Finance and Franchise System Under Attack, Says NADA Chairman

Franchised dealers in the USA are facing a threat to their finance sales, the new chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association told delegates at the NADA conference in Las Vegas last week. Jeff Carlson pledged that NADA would continue to build in its successful advocacy efforts on key issues, such as preserving the ability of dealers to discount credit and make credit affordable and accessible, and being advocates for dealers and consumers alike when it comes to ill-advised government policy and manufacturer issues. "The CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) is overreaching into our business model, which will reduce consumer access to the most competitive credit market on the planet,” said Carlson, who heads Ford and Subaru dealerships in Colorado. “It's no secret that the dealer franchise system has been attacked unfairly and relentlessly. But, the best defence is a good offence. We've made sure to identify those in Washington who understand and respect our business.”
Source: AM Online

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Volkswagen Promises Dealers It Will 'Rebrand' In The U.S., Doesn't Say How

The most-screwed in the immediate aftermath of Volkswagen’s Dieselgate crisis are the automaker’s U.S. dealers, which are suffering from lagging sales until a fix is implemented and didn’t exactly have a big-selling lineup before this happened. So at a meeting at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention last week, VW brand chief Herbert Diess promised to “redefine” the company in the U.S., but was light on specifics about how to do that. And thanks to a gag order, he was mum on the details of the actual fix too, reports Automotive News. Click here for what the dealers who attended the meeting had to say.
Source: Jalopnik

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Toyota, Microsoft Team Up on Connected-Car Technologies

Toyota Motor Corp. is collaborating with Microsoft Corp. to consolidate much of the carmaker’s global research in telematics, data analytics and network security services as the auto industry expands connected-vehicle technologies. The Toyota Connected venture will be headed by Zack Hicks, chief information officer and group vice president at Toyota Motor North America, and will be based in Plano, Texas. The initial investment will be $5.5 million, the automaker said Monday. Toyota plans to use data science through Microsoft’s Azure cloud technology to develop services that “help to humanize the driving experience,’’ according to a statement. “Toyota Connected will help free our customers from the tyranny of technology,’’ Hicks said in the statement. Automakers are expanding connected-car services as the industry heads toward technologies such as autonomous vehicles.
Source: Bloomberg

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Supercars Could Go Silent as Hybrids, Self-Driving Take Hold

The appeal of a supercar used to be relatively straightforward: aggressive styling, a growling engine, and racetrack-ready handling, garnished with an exotic name. The time-honored formula is being tested as customers demand more than just acceleration and a gawking public. Supercars are starting to feature wireless connectivity, electric-engine options, and even apps to open the doors. Take Bugatti’s latest monster, the Chiron: It comes with an infotainment system that fades to invisibility on the cockpit screens as the car’s speed increases, specs that were absent from its predecessor, the Veyron. Over at McLaren Automotive Ltd., makers of the 866,000-pound ($1.24 million) P1 hybrid, one question on Chief Executive Officer Mike Flewitt’s mind is how to make an electric engine vibrate. Attitudes are shifting rapidly across the sector.
Source: Bloomberg

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Ford Invests $170M, Creates 1,200 Jobs in South Africa

Ford Motor Co. on Tuesday said it will invest about $170 million and create 1,200 new jobs to build its new midsize Everest SUV and Ranger midsize pickup in South Africa. The Dearborn automaker also makes the Everest in Thailand, India (where it’s known as the Endeavor) and China. It said production in Silverton, South Africa, will begin in the third quarter, and the vehicles will arrive in South African showrooms in the fourth quarter. There are no plans to sell it in the United States. Ford said the South African plant will be able to make 10,000 Everest SUVs a year.
Source: The Detroit News

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Automakers, Suppliers See ICE Alternatives Surging

The world’s big automakers and key battery suppliers gather in Tokyo to deliver an upbeat message about the prospects for battery-electric and fuel-cell cars. Zin Park, vice president-automotive and ESS business group at Samsung, says during Japan’s Smart Energy Week earlier this month the global electromobility market will grow to 6 million vehicles in 2020, up from 2.1 million in 2015, while the battery market will grow to 61.6 gigawatt-hours, up from 12.8 gigawatt-hours. Samsung estimates hybrid sales will grow to 3.5 million units in 2020, up from 1.6 million, while EV demand will quadruple from 300,000 units to 1.2 million.
Source: WardsAuto

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          Quotable
          "The CFPB is overreaching into our business model, which will reduce consumer access to the most competitive credit market on the planet."

             ---  NADA Chairman Jeff Carlson, in remarks at the NADA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas last week, AM Online, April 5

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