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October 30, 2017 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
NADA Chairman: Good Intentions vs. Unintended Consequences
AutoNationís CEO on the Future of Car Dealerships
Forum Asks: What's Next for NAFTA?
NHTSA Moves to Overhaul Rules for Self-Driving Cars
US Launches Pilot Program to Alert Maryland Car Owners of Uncompleted Auto Recalls
Where Will All These EVs Recharge?
Top Stories
NADA Chairman: Good Intentions vs. Unintended Consequences
By Mark Scarpelli, October 2017


Earlier this month I had the privilege of addressing the Automotive Press Association in Detroit. I told the journalists there that American auto dealers share the same passion: to serve the needs of the car-buying public as efficiently as we can. And to do that dealers want to preserve the symbiotic relationship with those who impact our industry, whether it's the federal government or our manufacturers.

New-car dealers are projected to sell 17.1 million new cars and light trucks in 2017. With an improving economy and lower gas prices, consumers are opting for bigger vehicles such as light trucks and SUVs. The overall consumer demand for new vehicles is healthy. So let us make the process of purchasing a car as streamlined and transparent as possible for our consumers. Throughout the year NADA has strongly advocated for limiting complicated and unfair OEM market strategies—those that produce huge discrepancies in prices and kill trust and loyalty in our brands. I am confident that when dealers and manufacturers engage in open and constructive discussions—and when both sides are mindful of one another—we will make the best choices that benefit our consumers.

I told the Detroit auto press that, when it comes to the auto industry, there is a seesaw effect between good intentions and unintended consequences. For the past few years, NADA has worked hard to mitigate these effects, especially in Washington, D.C. Every so often, we saw various policy proposals crop up—like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's overreach into vehicle financing—that started out as well-intentioned, but held negative consequences to the business of selling and servicing vehicles to our millions of customers.

Click here for the full commentary.
Source: NADA

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AutoNationís CEO on the Future of Car Dealerships

Mike Jackson sets out how his company’s network can avoid becoming a commodity business

Mike Jackson got his start in the auto industry 45 years ago as a technician at a Mercedes-Benz dealership. Now he’s chief executive of the nation’s largest dealership group, AutoNation Inc., at a time of huge uncertainty for the industry.

Sales have reached a plateau. Margins are shrinking on new cars. The potential disruption is rising from ride sharing, which could drive down sales, and autonomous and electric vehicles, which could give dealerships an entirely new purpose as a place for charging and housing vehicles during off hours. And there’s the longstanding threat that the dealership model will vanish in favor of online sales.

But Mr. Jackson says he isn’t worried. Since joining the company in 1999, he has guided it through a number of other challenges, including the Chrysler and General Motors bankruptcy filings, as well as the broader threat from the recession and financial crisis.

He spoke to The Wall Street Journal about the road ahead for his business.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Forum Asks: What's Next for NAFTA?

After four rounds, negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement have taken an acrimonious turn. Disputes over rules of origin and other key provisions affecting the automotive trade have dimmed hopes for compromise, and industry leaders are confronting the very real prospect that NAFTA may unravel altogether. So what happens next? Can NAFTA be saved? If so, how? And if not, how will the economics of automaking be transformed?
Source: Automotive News

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NHTSA Moves to Overhaul Rules for Self-Driving Cars

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering eliminating regulations that currently block self-driving vehicles designed without steering wheels, brake pedals or other driver controls from hitting the road. The agency, in a document posted online, said it will soon ask automakers and technology companies to identify "any unnecessary regulatory barriers to automated safety technologies."
Source: Bloomberg

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US Launches Pilot Program to Alert Maryland Car Owners of Uncompleted Auto Recalls

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it is funding a pilot program that will notify drivers in the state of Maryland if there are open, uncompleted recalls at the time that they register their vehicles. The government says only about 70 percent of auto safety recalls have led to repairs or resolution of the problematic issues. Automakers, who have recalled record numbers of vehicles in recent years, have struggled to convince millions of owners of vehicles with potentially faulty Takata air bags to get the necessary repair work done.
Source: Reuters

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Where Will All These EVs Recharge?

A reliable public charging infrastructure will be key to fostering the growth of electric vehicles — even if those chargers don't get used much. The U.S. Alternative Fuels Data Center's most recent numbers show 16,457 EV charging stations, with 44,999 outlets in operation, mostly on the coasts ... The presence and visibility of these stations should help build confidence among consumers thinking about buying battery EVs that they will be able to charge wherever they want.
Source: Automotive News

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Quotable
"Throughout the year NADA has strongly advocated for limiting complicated and unfair OEM market strategies—those that produce huge discrepancies in prices and kill trust and loyalty in our brands."

    -- NADA Chairman Mark Scarpelli commenting on harmful stair-step incentive programs, NADA Blog, Oct. 30

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