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June 22, 2017 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
New Vehicle Reliability Hits Record High but Driver-Assist Features Struggle
Rep. LaMalfa Proposes Bill to Repeal Excise Tax on Trucks
For Thousands of U.S. Auto Workers, Downturn Is Already Here
U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer Says No Deadline Set for NAFTA Deal
Takata to File for Bankruptcy Monday, SMFG to Provide Bridge Loan
Ford Gathers Street-Smarts to Guide Cars of Future
Top Stories
New Vehicle Reliability Hits Record High but Driver-Assist Features Struggle

If you've bought a new car or truck in the last year, odds are you are pretty happy with your decision. J.D. Power and Associates' annual survey of new vehicle owners shows the initial quality of vehicles is better than ever. "The industry has improved significantly in each of the past three years," said Dave Sargent, vice president, global automotive, at J.D. Power. "Today's vehicles have more things that could go wrong but fewer things that actually do go wrong."
Source: CNBC

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Rep. LaMalfa Proposes Bill to Repeal Excise Tax on Trucks

Legislation that would repeal the 12% federal excise tax on certain heavy-duty trucks, tractors and trailers was unveiled June 20 by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.). The repeal would apply to the retail sale of trucking equipment. “The excessive 12% federal excise tax on heavy trucks adds tens of thousands of dollars to truck purchases and directly impacts the cost of food, consumer goods and other products Americans need,” LaMalfa said. “Even worse, truck owners large and small pay this tax whether a truck is driven 100,000 miles or never driven at all, forcing them to pay taxes on an investment that may not be generating any revenue. Repealing the truck tax will help small businesses invest in new equipment while jump-starting domestic manufacturing, and Congress should address this issue as we consider how to reform our outdated tax code.”
Source: Transport Topics

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For Thousands of U.S. Auto Workers, Downturn Is Already Here

Wall Street is fretting that the U.S. auto industry is heading for a downturn, but for thousands of workers at General Motors Co. factories in the United States, the hard times are already here. The auto industry experienced a boom from 2010 to 2016 that helped fuel strong growth for manufacturing jobs. Meanwhile, U.S. consumers have increasingly shunned passenger cars in favor of pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers, which has led to thousands of layoffs at General Motors this year and will likely stall manufacturing job growth.
Source: Reuters

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U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer Says No Deadline Set for NAFTA Deal

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday there was no deadline for completing NAFTA trade talks between the United States, Canada and Mexico even as lawmakers warned that U.S. business would be hurt by prolonged negotiations.
Source: Reuters

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Takata to File for Bankruptcy Monday, SMFG to Provide Bridge Loan

Takata Corp will seek bankruptcy protection from creditors on Monday, two sources said, as the Japanese company faces billions of dollars in liabilities stemming from the biggest recall in automotive history. The firm, whose defective air-bag inflators have been blamed for at least 16 deaths and more than 150 injuries worldwide, will file for protection in Tokyo District Court under the Civil Rehabilitation Act, Japan's version of U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy, said the sources, one of whom has direct knowledge of the matter and one who was briefed on the process.
Source: Reuters

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Ford Gathers Street-Smarts to Guide Cars of Future

The University of Michigan’s one-of-a-kind research center for autonomous and connected vehicles is something like a practice field for Ford Motor Co. Inside that controlled environment, Ford runs drills that put the automaker’s fully autonomous Fusion Hybrid test vehicles in considerably dangerous — yet scripted — situations, like unexpected pedestrians crossing the road, or bicyclists riding in the street. The objective is to ensure the vehicle’s sensors, cameras and mapping system all react properly to anything it could encounter on the road.
Source: The Detroit News

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Quotable
"Today's vehicles have more things that could go wrong but fewer things that actually do go wrong."

    -- Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, commenting on its survey of initial quality of vehicles, CNBC, June 21

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