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February 13, 2017 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Tax Threat Heightens Concern about Affordability
Auto CEOs Ask Trump to Revisit Obama-Era Fuel Efficiency Rules
Biggest Driver of Cleaner-Car Rules Is California, Not Washington
Automotive News Editorial: FCA's Network Expansion Defies Logic
Jim Appleton: Dealers, Consumers Will Pay for FCA Store Expansion
Buy-Sell Business Could Boom This Year
Feb. 16 Webinar: NADA and FTC to Discuss the Recently Revised Buyers Guide
Top Stories
Tax Threat Heightens Concern about Affordability

Prices for new cars and trucks, being pushed ever higher by fuel economy improvements, safety equipment and advanced technology, could soar out of range for many buyers with the addition of an import tax to the equation.

Among the vehicles hit hardest would be entry-level nameplates that automakers rely on as gateways for new customers but say they can't make profitably in the U.S.

President Donald Trump and House Republicans have floated the idea of taxing vehicles and other goods that enter the nation's borders, while providing more favorable tax treatment to exports. Such a tax would have drastic effects on the auto industry, raising prices not only on Nissan Versas, Ford Fusions and crew-cab Chevrolet Silverados assembled in Mexico, but also on many of the imported components that U.S. plants use.

The tax would ripple through dealerships, which would pay more to carry higher-priced vehicles in inventory. Auto sales would inevitably decline, as some consumers instead visit a pre-owned lot or hold onto their current vehicles longer, and that could lead to job losses both on sales floors and assembly lines.

"We already have an affordability issue with the auto industry," said Cody Lusk, president of the American International Automobile Dealers Association. "We're already pushing it with consumers, with the average payment going up and loan terms being stretched out."
Source: Automotive News

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Auto CEOs Ask Trump to Revisit Obama-Era Fuel Efficiency Rules

The chief executives of 18 automakers asked President Donald Trump to reinstate a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency review of fuel efficiency regulations through 2025 that they say was unfairly cut short during the final days of the Obama administration. In a Feb. 10 letter, executives including Mary Barra of General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co.’s Mark Fields and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV boss Sergio Marchionne asked Trump to return the review to its original schedule, giving the new administration a chance to shape the outcome.
Source: Bloomberg

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Biggest Driver of Cleaner-Car Rules Is California, Not Washington

State has power to set mandate on zero-emissions separate from U.S. efforts

Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Mark Fields used a recent White House breakfast with President Donald Trump to argue for relaxing U.S. car-emissions standards. But Mr. Fields and other auto executives need to travel 2,700 miles west of Washington to find the government officials who are pushing them the most on environmental regulations. When it comes to forcing auto makers to build cleaner cars, California is in the driver’s seat.
Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Automotive News Editorial: FCA's Network Expansion Defies Logic

Automakers and dealers would find it impossible to survive without each other's support. Yet from time to time, manufacturers seem to forget this and proceed without regard for the economic well-being of their partners. The latest example: Fiat Chrysler's move to add approximately 380 stores to its network of about 2,500 U.S. dealerships. We question that logic. Have FCA's sales been faltering lately because the company has too few dealers? Certainly not.
Source: Automotive News

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Jim Appleton: Dealers, Consumers Will Pay for FCA Store Expansion

A manufacturer's power to create a new dealership location is the power to destroy any number of existing dealerships within the market. FCA's drive to create hundreds of new locations across the U.S. may be a sign of real optimism about the future. And that sign of strength is certainly good news to dealers and dealer advocates; that is until a rash of new points threatens to undermine the financial stability of incumbent dealerships, the employees who work there, and the consumers and communities that rely on these established businesses.

Jim Appleton is president of the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, which represents dealers at the state's 500-plus franchised new-car and -truck dealerships.

Source: Automotive News

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Buy-Sell Business Could Boom This Year

This year's buy-sell activity is expected to outpace 2016's in volume -- if sellers continue to come to market and prices drop, buy-sell advisers say. "We have projected this to be the most active buy-sell market in history," said Erin Kerrigan, managing director of Kerrigan Advisors in Irvine, Calif. Kerrigan said the number of buyers and her client base of sellers are growing.
Source: Automotive News

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Feb. 16 Webinar: NADA and FTC to Discuss the Recently Revised Buyers Guide

Join NADA and FTC attorney John Hallerud in a webinar covering the changes to the Used Car Rule and the revised Buyers Guide.  Learn how to properly produce, use and complete the revised Buyers Guide, and ask your questions directly to the FTC.  This webinar is open to dealers, dealership staff, dealer attorneys, dealership compliance professionals, and dealership forms providers.  Click here to register.

Date:  Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Duration: 75 minutes
Source: NADA

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Past Articles
       
      Quotable
      "Unless we as an industry, working with policymakers at all levels of government, start looking through the lens of customer affordability, we risk imposing a new luxury tax on the vehicles our members sell, which, in turn, will depress the SAAR, reduce fleet turnover and deprive large swaths of Americans of the opportunity to obtain and benefit from the ownership of a new car or truck."

          -- NADA President and CEO Peter Welch, Automotive News, Feb. 13

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      Automotive Forum -- April 11

       
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      Feb. 15 -- Three Wasteful Digital Marketing Mistakes That Can Cost You Sales (12 p.m.)

      Feb. 16 -- FTC Webinar: Review of the Revised Buyers Guide (1 p.m.)

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