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Inside this issue
Self-Driving Legislation Set in Motion
German Automakers' Shares Fall on Diesel Emissions Concerns
Rhetoric Yields to Reality Ahead of NAFTA Talks
North America Light-Vehicle Production Flat in First-Half 2016
Ford to Petition to Avoid U.S. Recall of 2.5 Million Vehicles
Top Stories
Self-Driving Legislation Set in Motion

First-of-its-kind legislation governing self-driving vehicles cruised through a House panel last week, but could face a few detours on its way to enactment.

The legislation borrows heavily from the wish lists of automakers and technology companies that want leeway to operate their self-driving test vehicles on public highways without being tied too closely to rules designed for vehicles controlled by humans.

Subcommittee Democrats backed the bill, but say they want to add provisions addressing safety concerns before it's considered by the full Energy and Commerce Committee.
Source: Automotive News

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German Automakers' Shares Fall on Diesel Emissions Concerns

The German auto industry's troubles over excessive diesel emissions are looming larger.

Shares in the three biggest German automakers fell Monday after a newsmagazine report claimed they had colluded for years over diesel technology.

BMW was off 2.6 percent, Daimler 3.7 percent and Volkswagen 2.6 percent. Shares also fell Friday after Der Spiegel published its findings online.
Source: AP

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Rhetoric Yields to Reality Ahead of NAFTA Talks

The Trump administration presented goals for upcoming talks to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement, including an end to trade deficits and stricter Mexican enforcement of labor rules. But noticeably absent was any threatening bravado.

The 17-page "summary of objectives" released by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative last week also seeks to increase the percentage of locally produced content in tariff-free goods and to throw out the current trade dispute mechanism, which is certain to generate pushback.

The Trump administration has indicated that it wants to increase the amount of North American content in manufactured goods to qualify for duty-free status in the "rules of origin" section of the pact. Automakers have strongly lobbied to maintain the current threshold of 62.5 percent for finished vehicles because some parts, such as electronics, are sourced globally to control costs.

The summary of objectives is ambiguous about whether the U.S. will seek to raise the North American threshold or carve out a subrequirement to boost U.S. content in autos and other products, which would favor the richest nation in the bloc over its neighbors.
Source: Automotive News

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North America Light-Vehicle Production Flat in First-Half 2016

Automakers in North America built 1,543,246 light vehicles in June, 5.1% behind year-ago’s 1,626,392. With U.S. sales coming in below expectations, production began to fall in line, pulling back 10.1% to 981,607 units after growing in May. Car output tumbled 26.5% to 276,590 as many consumers and manufacturers continue to shift their focus to light trucks.
Source: WardsAuto

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Ford to Petition to Avoid U.S. Recall of 2.5 Million Vehicles

Ford Motor Co will petition to avoid a U.S. recall of about 2.5 million vehicles with Takata air-bag inflators that the Japanese auto supplier declared defective last week, U.S. regulators and the automaker said on Friday.

Separately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Nissan Motor Co agreed to recall 515,394 2007-2011 Versa cars after Takata declared 2.7 million vehicles to have potentially defective inflators.

Ford spokesman John Cangany said the automaker will file a petition requesting "to continue testing and analyzing our inflators." The NHTSA said the petition will seek an exemption from the recall because Ford believes the issue is inconsequential.
Source: Reuters

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Quotable
"The mistake manufacturers make is they don't allow market-appropriate facilities. What makes sense in a major market can be a financial death sentence in flyover country.
 
Our clients become the losers when they pay extra to cover the excess overhead or, in the worst-case scenario, pay more because their chosen retailer doesn't qualify for full margin due to facility requirements.
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    -- Patrick Lind, President, Lind Bros. Racing and new-vehicle dealer for 13 years, in letter to the editor, Automotive News, July 24
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