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Inside this issue
Updated Self-Driving Legislation Preserves State Motor Vehicle Laws
VW Profit Jumps as Core Brand Pushes Cost Cuts, Models
Fiat Chrysler Second-Quarter Profits Rise 15 Percent but Debt Disappoints
Nissan Sales Up but Profit Dips on Costs, China Slowdown
Keys to Cracking the Gen Y Buyer Mystique
Ford Trucks Celebrate 100 Years as America’s Workhorse Icon
Top Stories
Updated Self-Driving Legislation Preserves State Motor Vehicle Laws

WASHINGTON (July 27, 2017)—The House Energy and Commerce Committee introduced updated legislation on Thursday that clarified Congress’ intent not to jeopardize state motor vehicle franchise and licensing laws as it seeks to fast-track the deployment of highly automated vehicles (HAVs).

The updated legislation was approved by the full committee during a Thursday markup of a number of bills intended establish federal guidelines for vehicles with advanced design features that can be operated without human intervention.

On July 19, the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a draft bill that regulates self-driving vehicles and seeks to prevent a patchwork that would compel automakers to build different vehicles for different states. However, the early draft bill’s federal preemption language could have unintentionally preempted a variety of state-based motor vehicle franchise and licensing laws related to such things as driving education and training, safety and emissions inspections, traffic rules, and how motor vehicles are sold, serviced, registered, insured, and advertised.

During the July 19 markup a bipartisan consensus emerged within the Committee that there was no intent to preempt a wide swath of important state laws, including state motor vehicle franchise and licensing laws.

NADA praised the committee’s efforts to address this issue and have Congress’ intent reflected accurately in the legislation.

“State motor vehicle franchise and licensing laws exist to ensure that all vehicles certified as safe under federal rules continue to be used, maintained, and operated safely long after they are shipped from the factory,” said NADA Chairman Mark Scarpelli. “Preempting these laws wouldn’t help speed the deployment of HAVs, but it could undermine the important state protections these laws offer, so we’re pleased the committee has gotten this right.” 

Scarpelli added that NADA will continue working with members on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate to make sure the specific wording of any preemption provision of any HAV legislation does not sweep too broadly.
Source: NADA

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VW Profit Jumps as Core Brand Pushes Cost Cuts, Models

Volkswagen Group said group operating profit more than doubled in the second quarter, helped by cost cuts and higher-margin new models at its core VW brand. Earnings before interest and tax jumped to 4.55 billion euros ($5.34 billion) from 1.90 billion a year earlier, VW said in a statement on Thursday.

In another sign that VW is on the mend, the company did not announce any further provisions related to its cheating of U.S. diesel emissions tests. The group has to date set aside 22.6 billion euros to cover fines, compensation and vehicle refits.

VW's recovery, however, has been clouded by news that European and German regulators are investigating allegations of decades-long collusion between VW, BMW and Daimler.
Source: Automotive News

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Fiat Chrysler Second-Quarter Profits Rise 15 Percent but Debt Disappoints

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday reported a slightly better-than-expected second-quarter adjusted operating profit, helped by improvements in Europe and Latin America and continued strong performance in its key market in North America.

The world's seventh-largest carmaker said adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the April-June period rose 15 percent to 1.87 billion euros ($2.2 billion), above a 1.81 billion consensus in a Thomson Reuters analyst poll. Revenues were basically flat at 27.9 billion euros, slightly below an average analyst forecast of 28.9 billion euros.

Net industrial debt fell to 4.2 billion euros by the end of June from 5.1 billion euros three months earlier, but was higher than an analyst consensus forecast of 3.9 billion euros.
Source: Reuters

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Nissan Sales Up but Profit Dips on Costs, China Slowdown

Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. says that despite strong overall sales its quarterly profit dipped in the last quarter, squeezed by rising costs and slowing growth in China. The company said Thursday that its April-June net profit was 134.9 billion yen ($1.2 billion), down 1 percent from 136.4 billion yen the same period the year before. Quarterly sales climbed 4 percent to 2.76 trillion yen ($24.8 billion).

Nissan, which makes the Leaf electric car, March subcompact and Infiniti luxury models, stuck to its full year forecast through March 2018, for 535 billion yen ($4.8 billion) profit on 11.8 trillion yen ($106 billion) sales.

Yokohama-based Nissan sold 1.35 million vehicles in the quarter, up 5 percent on year. Vehicle sales rose in Japan, the U.S., China and Europe, it said.
Source: Washington Post

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Keys to Cracking the Gen Y Buyer Mystique

A casual, targeted approach is an important tool for all finance managers when selling to Gen Y, experts say. That's especially true given their growing impact on the auto market. Millennials bought 4.1 million new vehicles in 2016, representing 29 percent of U.S. new-vehicle retail sales, data from J.D. Power's Power Information Network data show. And they will likely account for about 40 percent of the market by 2020.

"You remember the dinosaur and what happened to them?" said Mark Scarpelli, 2017 chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association. "You either need to adapt or coexist, or you are extinct in the car business. When it comes to selling and adapting to Generation Y and the upcoming [Gen Z], I have seen many dealers use very creative means they would never have tried even two years ago."

Dealers' emphasis on solid web presences and spacious, light-filled customer waiting areas with Wi-Fi, Internet workstations, snack bars and other niceties are key, said Scarpelli, president of Raymond Chevrolet and Raymond Kia in Antioch, Ill., and co-owner of Ray Chevrolet and Ray Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Fox Lake, Ill. "We are trying to make coming to a dealership akin to joining a community gathering," he said.
Source: Automotive News

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Ford Trucks Celebrate 100 Years as America’s Workhorse Icon

Exactly 100 years ago today — July 27, 1917 — the first Ford Model TT truck rolled out of the assembly plant on Woodward Avenue in Highland Park, beginning an American love affair with pickups that still burns hot.

Henry Ford had no idea what he’d begun when he had the TT engineered specifically to be a truck at a time when most pickups were modified cars.

He intended the Model TT for farmers, another tool like the Fordson tractors he built for the rural life he idealized. He would’ve tipped his straw boater hat back, squinted and laughed in your face if you told him the F-series pickup that’s the direct descendant of his Model TT would become America’s best-selling vehicle for 35 years straight.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Quotable
"You remember the dinosaur and what happened to them? You either need to adapt or coexist, or you are extinct in the car business. When it comes to selling and adapting to Generation Y and the upcoming [Gen Z], I have seen many dealers use very creative means they would never have tried even two years ago."

    -- NADA Chairman Mark Scarpelli, Automotive News, July 26
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