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December 11, 2017 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Dealers' Optimism Strongest in the South
Car Dealers Turn to New Programs to Appeal to Buyers
Genesis Aiming for 85 to 90 Stores
Toyota: Tax Cuts May Prop Up Still-Healthy U.S. Auto Market
Mayors, Industry Press Congress to Keep EV Rebate in Final Tax Bill
Softer Last Month, Used-Car Market to Give New Cars 'Some Competition'
U.S. Transportation Chief Elaine Chao to Keynote AutoMobili-D Expo
Top Stories
Dealers' Optimism Strongest in the South

Dealers are positive about the next quarter, but that optimism varies widely by region, a Cox Automotive survey found. The quarterly Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index, released today, is the equivalent of a consumer confidence index, showing how U.S. dealers feel about the current automotive market and prospects for the next 90 days. It also identifies which factors are most significant in driving dealers' optimism or pessimism, as well as variations by region.
Source: Automotive News

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Car Dealers Turn to New Programs to Appeal to Buyers

As more consumers shop online for their vehicles or give up car ownership altogether, traditional auto dealers are being forced to adapt. Don Flow, chief executive of North Carolina-based car dealership Flow Automotive, said providing options and convenience are key to meeting changing demands.

His dealership recently launched a car subscription program, called Drive Flow, to a limited number of users. The program allows its members to request a vehicle at any time through an app, which is delivered by a concierge to a specified location. The subscription includes insurance and unlimited mileage, and members can choose from more than 20 brands of cars.

“You are about to see an explosion of opportunity in this space,” Flow said. “We’ll move from just being car dealers and retailers to integrated transportation partners.”
Source: Los Angeles Times

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Genesis Aiming for 85 to 90 Stores

Despite lingering tension over the impending split of the Genesis and Hyundai retail networks, dealers understand that for Genesis to be profitable, it can have only a limited number of stores. That's according to Brian Smith, who joined Hyundai Motor America in October as its first COO since 2007. Smith confirmed to Automotive News that Genesis is aiming for just 85 to 90 stand-alone stores next year, some of which could be awarded to dealers outside the current Hyundai network.
Source: Automotive News

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Toyota: Tax Cuts May Prop Up Still-Healthy U.S. Auto Market

Automakers may end up thanking Uncle Sam for supporting U.S. auto sales, which will stay healthy despite an unprecedented growth spurt coming to an end, according to a top Toyota Motor Corp. executive. New-vehicle sales will probably be in the high-16 million range for the next couple years, Bob Carter, sales chief for Toyota Motor North America, said in an interview. That would be down from about 17.2 million vehicle deliveries this year, he said, though U.S. tax reform “should certainly help” demand.
Source: Bloomberg

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Mayors, Industry Press Congress to Keep EV Rebate in Final Tax Bill

Electric vehicle and clean-energy proponents are urging Congress to preserve a consumer tax credit they insist is critical to mass adoption of the technology. On Wednesday, 22 mayors sent a letter to members of the House and Senate conference committee rushing to finalize a massive package of tax cuts by the end of the year, saying the $7,500 tax credit helps them pursue clean-energy investments in their cities. The House version of the tax bill would eliminate the tax credit, while the Senate voted to keep it.
Source: Automotive News

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Softer Last Month, Used-Car Market to Give New Cars 'Some Competition'

It would appear that the post-hurricane recovery that drove wholesale used-car prices higher is no longer having that same impact. And though full-year figures are expected to climb, used-car retail sales softened a bit last month. But look for a used-car retail market that challenges the new-car market, amid heavy lease returns adding fuel to the certifed pre-owned market.
Source: Auto Remarketing

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U.S. Transportation Chief Elaine Chao to Keynote AutoMobili-D Expo

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao will give the keynote speech at the Detroit auto show's AutoMobili-D exposition in January. Chao is scheduled to kick off the exposition, which runs Jan. 14-21. "Automated technologies will change the way we travel and connect with each other," Chao said in a statement. "The Department welcomes this opportunity to share our vision for promoting the safe and secure integration of new technologies into our country's transportation infrastructure."
Source: Automotive News

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Quotable
"Next year, we also see an influx of off-lease vehicles coming that will give new-vehicle sales some competition, and especially in the utility segment, which we expect to continue to grow, but there could be some battling going on between new and nearly new."

    -- Autotrader executive analyst Michelle Krebs, Auto Remarketing, Dec. 8

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