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March 23, 2017 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Californians Snub Free EVs, Carmakers Say in Pushback on Mandate
While Trumpís EPA Fiddles, FCA Diesel Problem Burns
Electric Autos Are Overhyped, Bet on Cleaner Burning Engine Suppliers, Deutsche Bank Says
Volkswagen Finance Arm Has Record 2016 Profit Despite Dieselgate
GM Plans Digital Signage Push Across U.S. Dealerships
Microsoft Licenses Patents to Toyota In Bid For Bigger Car-Tech Role
April 5: NADA Quarterly Briefing on Auto Sales and Economy
Top Stories
Californians Snub Free EVs, Carmakers Say in Pushback on Mandate

The proportion of Californians making electric cars their new set of wheels has stayed flat for years even though incentives make some models basically free to lease, a trade group told state regulators that may toughen up already-stringent rules. With state rebates, federal tax credits and manufacturer discounts, the effective monthly payments in California for zero-emission vehicles including the Nissan Motor Co. Leaf and Ford Motor Co. Focus Electric can add up to zero -- or less -- a month, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said in written comments to the California Air Resources Board, which meets Thursday. “Yet the ZEV market share has remained at the 3 to 3.5 percent level,” the alliance said in its 80-page submission, asking the agency known as CARB to ease up on plans to require more sales of the vehicles.
Source: Bloomberg

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While Trumpís EPA Fiddles, FCA Diesel Problem Burns

By the time the U.S. EPA sorts out a solution to Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s allegedly polluting diesel engines in its Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, it is entirely possible the governmental watchdog will be reduced to a toothless dinosaur. That’s one theory, that FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is running out the clock, awaiting action by the Trump Admin. to slash staffing and budget at the agency to the point that any pending enforcement becomes unlikely, or impossible. That’s the dim view. More likely, FCA is working daily with EPA bureaucrats in hopes of resolving the complaint so it can resume selling stockpiled ’17 Ram EcoDiesels and diesel-powered Grand Cherokees, some built as long ago as August.
Source: WardsAuto

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Electric Autos Are Overhyped, Bet on Cleaner Burning Engine Suppliers, Deutsche Bank Says

Deutsche Bank is increasingly bullish on auto suppliers, saying recent advances in battery technology are making conventional engine cars more competitive against electric vehicles. "A consistent theme within our research in recent years was that electric vehicle powertrains will eventually approach cost parity vs. more advanced internal combustion powertrains. … But we found that our previous forecast underestimated innovation, efficiency improvement, and cost reduction in internal combustion," analyst Rod Lache wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.
Source: CNBC

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Volkswagen Finance Arm Has Record 2016 Profit Despite Dieselgate

Volkswagen's finance division posted record earnings last year despite the carmaker's diesel emission crisis. Operating profit at Volkswagen Financial Services jumped 10 percent to $2.26 billion from 1.9 billion in 2015, it said on Thursday. Whether the division, which handles dealer and customer financing and the group's banking and leasing business, is able to match record profits this year will depend on the terms of Volkswagen's return to capital markets, finance chief Frank Fiedler said at a press conference.
Source: Reuters

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GM Plans Digital Signage Push Across U.S. Dealerships

General Motors plans to make digital signage part of its dealership facility requirements for the first time, starting next year. The digital signage requirement, part of what GM calls essential brand elements at Chevrolet, GMC and Buick stores, will include advertising on video screens in dealer showrooms and controlled content for in-dealership TV sets in customer waiting areas. Cadillac has a separate digital signage program, GM says.
Source: Automotive News

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Microsoft Licenses Patents to Toyota In Bid For Bigger Car-Tech Role

Companies didn’t disclose specific patents licensed, or any fees Toyota is paying to use technology

Microsoft Corp. agreed Wednesday to license a batch of patents to Toyota Motor Corp. as part of the software giant’s effort to leverage its vast intellectual-property portfolio to become a key provider of connected-car technology. Microsoft has been racing to convince car makers to build connected-car services on top of its Azure cloud-computing service. In a blog post and video announcing the deal, Microsoft highlighted the navigation, predictive maintenance, entertainment, and voice recognition capabilities of Azure.
Source: The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

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April 5: NADA Quarterly Briefing on Auto Sales and Economy


Scarpelli


Szakaly

NADA Chairman Mark Scarpelli and NADA Chief Economist Steven Szakaly will share their insights on the overall economy and where it is trending and provide any revisions to NADA’s outlook following the first quarter sales results for new cars and light trucks, as well as highlight the key sales indicators and drivers of the retail-auto industry. NADA has forecast sales of 17.1 million new light vehicles for 2017.

When: Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Call-in Time: 11 a.m. ET

Scarpelli is president of Raymond Chevrolet and Raymond Kia in Antioch, Ill., and co-owner of Ray Chevrolet and Ray Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram in Fox Lake, Ill.

A Q&A session with members of the media and industry will follow the briefing. Click here to register.
Source: NADA

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Past Articles:
 
Quotable
"Somewhat surprisingly, some of the innovations in batteries will help sustain internal combustion engines. Prospects for business units focused on internal combustion efficiency and emissions appear brighter than we previously thought."

    -- Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache, CNBC, March 22

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Automotive Forum -- April 11

 
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