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November 1, 2017 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Republicans Push Tax Bill Unveiling to Thursday as Negotiations Continue
Mitsubishi Wants Show of Faith from Dealers
Waymo Is ‘Really Close’ to Putting Customers in Self-Driving Cars
Qualcomm Partners with Ford in First U.S. Road Tests of Connected Car Technology
Nearly 60 Percent of GM Financial’s Q3 Originations Fell Within Prime
Big Discounts, Easy Credit Ease the Pain of Sticker Shock
Standalone Used-Car Stores a Big 'Opportunity' for Penske
Audi Picks Detroit for A7's Show Debut
Top Stories
Republicans Push Tax Bill Unveiling to Thursday as Negotiations Continue

Republicans announced late Tuesday night that they would release their tax reform bill Thursday, missing their self-imposed deadline by one day because of continued negotiations over key provisions in the bill. Of concern were issues surrounding retirement savings and the state and local tax deduction, two key provisions that involve raising revenue to pay for the plan.

While the bill is expected to preserve the property tax deduction, leaders were still hashing out the final details Tuesday night around the deduction, according to multiple sources, including whether a cap would be placed on the amount that could be deducted.

House Speaker Paul Ryan discussed the bill in a meeting with leaders of outside conservative groups and told them that the full text of the bill would not be released Wednesday, but rather significant details of the bill would be discussed instead, according to multiple sources. A spokeswoman for Ryan says timing was not discussed in the meeting.

One key development as of Tuesday: Republicans plan to keep a top income tax rate of 39.6% for individuals in the expected tax reform plan, a move designed to uphold promises made by President Donald Trump that any tax cuts would not benefit top income earners.

The House ways and means committee was also still deliberating over how to repeal the estate tax -- whether to do it all at once, or wait a few years and repeal it later. The latter option would help raise more money for the plan.
Source: CNN

Editor’s note: NADA Legislative Affairs has been meeting extensively with the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee to advocate for the fair treatment of pass-through entities, including a 25% rate on pass-through income. NADA has also been educating lawmakers on preserving the deductibility of business interest, which is under threat. NADA Legislative Affairs will continue to work with tax writing committees on NADA’s tax reform priorities. NADA urges dealers to contact lawmakers on the tax writing committees to advocate for dealers’ priority issues.

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Mitsubishi Wants Show of Faith from Dealers

[Mitsubishi] executives made clear that in order for the brand to achieve its ambitious target of 30 percent growth in the U.S. by 2020, it would need a high level of dealer engagement and improved fundamentals at the retail level. Mitsubishi sold 96,267 vehicles in the U.S. in 2016; sales are up 6.5 percent through September.

The hope now is that the new alliance — formalized a year ago when Nissan took a 34 percent controlling stake in Mitsubishi — and the impending arrival of the Eclipse Cross and Outlander plug-in hybrid will help restore their faith. "I think the dealers will think, 'Oh there is no uncertainty in the future of MMC, no concern,'" Osamu Masuko, CEO of Mitsubishi Motors, told Automotive News through an interpreter on the sidelines of the show. "The commitment towards the U.S. is clear, so let's do business with Mitsubishi."
Source: Automotive News

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Waymo Is ‘Really Close’ to Putting Customers in Self-Driving Cars

Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo unit demonstrated a self-driving minivan with no one behind the wheel, declaring the vehicle as ready for public use. “It’s safe to say we’re really close, but I don’t want to put a date on it,” John Krafcik, Waymo’s chief executive officer, told reporters at the company’s testing site in central California. “We want to get this car out on public roads.”
Source: Bloomberg

Editor's note: Krafcik is slated to speak at the upcoming NADA Show 2018 (formerly the NADA Convention & Expo) in Las Vegas next March. For more information or to register, click here.

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Qualcomm Partners with Ford in First U.S. Road Tests of Connected Car Technology

Pilot program will allow cars embedded with cellular modems to communicate with one another and infrastructure such as traffic signals.

Qualcomm Inc. said Tuesday it will begin the first road tests in the U.S. of a connected car technology being developed in partnership with Ford Motor Co. and a pair of telecom partners, a project designed to link vehicles to one another and roadside infrastructure. The chipmaker said the pilot program will start later this year on designated public roads near San Diego and allow cars embedded with cellular modems to communicate with one another and infrastructure such as traffic signals. It is designed to test applications in automated driving, accident prevention and improved traffic flow as a precursor to commercialization around the turn of the decade.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Nearly 60 Percent of GM Financial’s Q3 Originations Fell Within Prime

In the words of General Motors Financial president and chief executive officer Dan Berce, the paper the captive is adding “continues to skew to more prime originations.” Berce made his latest proclamation when GM Financial shared its third-quarter results, which included $2.2 billion of prime originations. As Berce explained during the company’s latest conference call, that figure constituted 58.3 percent of the captive’s total retail mix in Q3, up from 54.4 percent a year ago.
Source: Auto Remarketing

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Big Discounts, Easy Credit Ease the Pain of Sticker Shock

Consumers are paying more for new vehicles on average, even though incentives are at record highs. That’s a game automakers can play profitably all day long — provided consumer demand stays at adequate levels, and credit continues to be readily available at longer and longer terms, so customers can keep monthly payments low. In October, incentive spending increased for the 43rd month in a row, according to an analysis last week by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. The average incentive per unit was $3,901 based on data through early October.
Source: Forbes

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Standalone Used-Car Stores a Big 'Opportunity' for Penske

During the Q&A portion of Penske Automotive Group’s latest quarterly earnings call, chairman Rogers Penske was asked if his viewpoint on CarShop and CarSense had changed since the dealer group purchased the respective used-car standalone retailers. “Yeah, it’s changed. I like it more,” Penske said with a laugh. “I think we’re very fortunate to get into this business,” he said. “The technology, the people. We’ve had no turnover with senior management. Both of these businesses, I think they applaud the fact we’ve come in with capital, with ideas, with an expansion mode offense.”
Source: Auto Remarketing

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Audi Picks Detroit for A7's Show Debut

Audi has picked the Detroit auto show in January for the debut of its latest-generation A7. The new, second-generation A7 will go on sale in Europe in February, with prices starting at 67,800 euros ($78,884) in Germany. A date for the U.S. launch has yet to be announced, but it is expected sometime toward the end of the year.
Source: Automotive News

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Quotable
"It's safe to say we’re really close, but I don't want to put a date on it. We want to get this car out on public roads."

    -- John Krafcik, Waymo’s chief executive officer, commenting on its self-driving vehicle, Bloomberg, Oct. 31

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