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September 22, 2016 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
NADA President Peter Welch Testifies at House Committee Hearing on Fuel Economy and GHG Emissions
Politico: NADA Hosts Capitol Hill Fly-in This Week
Fuel-Economy Rules Threaten 1 Million U.S. Jobs, Study Says
Commentary: The Dangers of 'Self-Driving' Car Hype
Sept. 28 Webinar: Revised Wage/Hour Regulations
Women Driving Auto Industry, From Design to Dealerships
Top Stories
NADA President Peter Welch Testifies at House Committee Hearing on Fuel Economy and GHG Emissions

WASHINGTON – Peter Welch, president of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), urged lawmakers and regulators on Thursday to keep the issue of affordability at the forefront of the debate over increasing fuel-economy standards for new cars and trucks.


Peter Welch

At the House Energy and Commerce joint subcommittee hearing on the Midterm Review for CAFE standards, Welch was one of several industry leaders who stressed that consumer affordability is the No. 1 factor to determine whether the government's fuel-economy and greenhouse gas reduction goals will be achievable.

Here's an excerpt of Welch's oral testimony at the committee hearing:

In America, motor vehicles are not luxury goods. Affordable transportation is critical to personal mobility and freedom, essential to individual economic empowerment and a key driver of national productivity. Cars and trucks open up employment and housing opportunities that many Americans would not otherwise enjoy.

When it comes to decisions that affect the environment, local dealerships are providing their customers with unparalleled choices. In addition to incredibly efficient internal combustion engine vehicles, franchised dealers currently have on their lots more than 75 different models of hybrid, plug-in electric and battery electric vehicles. Toyota dealers now even offer fuel-cell vehicles for sale. Local dealerships consistently educate buyers on the value of these technologies, and on how these vehicles can fit into their lifestyles.


The No. 1 priority at every new-car dealership is to serve its customers by providing them with the choices they want and at prices they can afford. Every one of our customers deserves to be able to purchase a vehicle that’s right for them.

This means that during the midterm review, careful thought needs to be given to keeping the cost of new vehicles reasonable and ensuring that people can still afford to buy the cleaner, greener and safer car or truck they really need or want. Washington should not make personal mobility so expensive that it is no longer available for average Americans.


Consumers finance more than 90% of all new-vehicle purchases. When regulations drive up the price of vehicles, fewer of our customers will be able to qualify for a car loan. The average price of a new vehicle is currently $34,250, with an average monthly loan payment of $510. This, with historically low interest rates currently averaging 4.2%, but longer and longer loan terms that now average 68 months. Since 2005, the percentage of personal income necessary to purchase a new vehicle has risen from 9.5% to 12.4%. This already puts a new-vehicle purchase beyond the reach of millions of Americans.

That’s why affordability is everything. We need to ensure that people can buy the cars they want or need, and make it possible for average Americans to afford cleaner new cars and trucks.


If moves here in Washington force our customers out of new cars because the technology needed to attain the 2022 - 2025 regulatory targets raise loan payments by $50 or $60 per month, many of our customers will be forced to drive less safe, less efficient and dirtier used cars and the CAFE/GHG regulations will have become counterproductive.

Let me be clear about one thing: America’s new-car dealers are not on opposite sides of this debate. Dealers are in favor of national policies to reduce GHG emissions, increase fuel efficiency and promote energy independence. What we are standing up for is affordability and to make sure that our customers – your constituents – are put first. 

An approach that enables more of our customers to purchase affordable new cars and trucks will produce a winning scenario for everyone: dealers, manufacturers and the driving public.

If we work together, we have a perfect opportunity during the midterm review to ensure that our customers have access to clean, efficient new vehicles at affordable prices.

Source: NADA


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Politico: NADA Hosts Capitol Hill Fly-in This Week

The National Automobile Dealers Association held its Washington Conference this week with speakers including Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), who was one of the 88 Democrats who voted for H.R. 1737, one of NADA’s main legislative priorities; Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas); Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.); and Janet McCabe, the EPA's acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation.

The association's members also had 325 meetings scheduled on Capitol Hill. McCabe and NADA's president, Peter Welch, will testify today at a House Energy and Commerce hearing on CAFE standards.
Source: Politico

Editor's note: In remarks to dealers and dealer association executives at NADA’s conference on Wednesday, NADA Chairman Jeff Carlson said H.R. 1737, which would rescind the CFPB’s flawed auto finance guidance, passed by a veto-proof, majority vote in the House last year.

  Jeff Carlson

The companion bill, S. 2663, which was introduced by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) in March, is “gaining a lot of traction,” Carlson said. He added that the NADA-backed measures protect the consumer’s right to get discounts on credit when they finance a new car or truck at the dealership, and make the CFPB more transparent and accountable when issuing future guidance.

“New-car dealerships are still—without a doubt—the most efficient and cost-effective way of securing financing for a car or truck,” he said. “The reality is that the CFPB’s actions in this area are harming consumers more than they are helping them.”


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Fuel-Economy Rules Threaten 1 Million U.S. Jobs, Study Says

More than 1.1 million U.S. workers would lose their jobs because of tougher fuel-economy regulations coming next decade if prices at the gasoline pump remain low in America, a new study found. With low fuel prices, consumers won’t get the payback they are expecting from expensive fuel-saving technology as automakers strive to reach a U.S. mandate to achieve 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, according to the study released today by the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The group analyzed nine scenarios with varying fuel prices and technology costs and concluded that significant job loss would result in eight cases.
Source: Bloomberg

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Commentary: The Dangers of 'Self-Driving' Car Hype
By Scott Keogh

Rushing adoption of automated vehicles could be hazardous—and turn off consumers for good.

Technologists sometimes describe auto makers as mere “metal benders.” It’s true that many of us have been around for more than a century—long before software companies invented the concept of “public beta testing.” But with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [introducing] guidelines for autonomous vehicles, it’s worth remembering that there’s a lot of metal involved and it’s moving at great speed.

Software companies actively aim to fail fast. They experiment in the real world to work out kinks as they go. This makes sense for those developing a smartphone operating system, but fine-tuning on the fly isn’t feasible in the automotive world. Automated-vehicle technology can dramatically improve the safety and efficiency of the transportation system, but it’s all at risk. How companies developing this technology proceed over the next few years will determine whether the public actually accepts these innovations.

No model on the road today drives itself. Yet auto makers new and old continue to oversell current technology, prematurely suggesting that vehicles with automated-driving functions are actually self-driving. The media has often failed to vet these claims. As auto makers, we must resist the temptation to exaggerate and remain honest about the technology’s limits.

Keogh is president of Audi of America. 
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Sept. 28 Webinar: Revised Wage/Hour Regulations

NADA Regulatory Affairs -- from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 28 -- will present the webinar, "New Wage/Hour Regulations, Issues and Concerns for Dealerships." Presenters will focus on dealership-specific compliance issues involving the U.S. Department of Labor's recently revised "white collar" overtime exemption rules. The webinar will reference NADA's newly released Dealer Guide to Federal Wage and Hour, Child Labor and Wage Discrimination Compliance. The webinar is free for NADA members. Dealers and their staff can click here to register. For more information, contact NADA Regulatory Affairs at regulatoryaffairs@nada.org.           
Source: NADA

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Women Driving Auto Industry, From Design to Dealerships

Women are fueling the red-hot auto industry, long dominated by men. They influence over 80 percent of automotive purchases and drive more than 50 percent of autos sold annually in the U.S. Since 2012, women held more drivers licenses than men. Now more than ever, women hold great sway over the auto industry, from the features in how cars are designed to the other end of the car buying spectrum at the dealer relationship.

Auto dealerships are taking notice. "To think women aren't involved, salespeople are fooling themselves," said Gabe Greene, general manager of Ed Martin Acura in Indianapolis. "We try not to focus on gender, but rather saving the customer time and providing value. We have a play area for kids and a business center shut off from noise. Recognizing mothers are busy, we have free service loaner cars and extended hours for sales and service."
Source: Chicago Tribune

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Past Articles
       
      Quotable
      "If we work together, we have a perfect opportunity during the midterm review to ensure that our customers have access to clean, efficient new vehicles at affordable prices."

          -- NADA President Peter Welch, in testimony today at a U.S. House Energy and Commerce joint subcommittee hearing on the Midterm Review for CAFE standards, NADA Headlines, Sept. 22



      "Recklessly introducing the future risks losing the most critical component of the equation: the consumer. Hype will only set false expectations with an undecided public."

          -- Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, commenting on self-driving cars, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 19
       
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