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Inside this issue
Congress Saves $7,500 EV Tax Credit Following Full-Court Pressure
California Wants 4.2 Million Electric Vehicles By 2030. A New State Plan Charts The Road Ahead.
House Fuel Economy Hearing: Obama Administration's 'One National Vehicle Program' Is Actually Three or Four
Toyota, Panasonic Strike Battery Deal in Threat to Tesla
Hyundai Bolsters Electric Car Lineup to Narrow Gap With Rivals
Toyota Revamps How It Handles Goodwill Service Claims at Dealerships
How a Fed Rate Hike Could Impact Your Auto Loan
Top Stories
Congress Saves $7,500 EV Tax Credit Following Full-Court Pressure

As part of the last-minute tax bill discussions in Congress, the $7,500 federal tax credit for electric vehicles appears to have been saved. According to multiple reports, both the House and the Senate have agreed to keep the provision – often derided by Republicans. As the two houses of Congress have been finalizing their bill, the House version of the bill wanted to eliminate the federal EV tax credit (the Senate did not), which was seen as a potential major problem for the EV industry.
Source: Forbes

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California Wants 4.2 Million Electric Vehicles By 2030. A New State Plan Charts The Road Ahead.

When the California Air Resources Board (CARB) meets today, it will likely vote to adopt the state’s 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan. While it is a wonky document, wading through the details provides important insights into California’s strategy to meet its 2030 goal of reducing statewide emissions 40% below 1990 levels – meaning the plan gives automakers, utilities, and investors a sense of what to expect for the next decade.
Source: Forbes

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House Fuel Economy Hearing: Obama Administration's 'One National Vehicle Program' Is Actually Three or Four

The House Energy and Commerce held a hearing on Dec. 12 on corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for motor vehicles. This post highlights key points from testimonies by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and Association of Global Automakers, which raise fundamental objections to the Obama administration’s so-called One National Vehicle Program. 

Honda and Acura dealer Forrest McConnell, testifying on behalf of NADA, explained why President Obama’s so-called One National Program for regulating new-car fuel economy is actually three separate programs:

"Mr. Chairman, some Members may be surprised to learn that there are not one, but three fuel economy programs that automakers must comply with. These different fuel economy programs are administered by three different agencies—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB)—under three different sets of rules, issued pursuant to three different laws, potentially resulting in three different standards, all of which must be separately complied with. These duplicative and sometimes contrary regulations were labelled by the Obama Administration as 'One National Program,' but in reality, they are three separate programs."
Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute

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Toyota, Panasonic Strike Battery Deal in Threat to Tesla

Toyota reached a deal to explore a new battery partnership with Panasonic in a move that threatens to encroach on Tesla's territory, heightening the ongoing rivalry between the two automakers. Toyota and Panasonic said Wednesday that they are launching a "feasibility study" to investigate the technological potential of batteries that use prismatic cells, which are grouped together in pouches to power electric cars.
Source: USA Today

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Hyundai Bolsters Electric Car Lineup to Narrow Gap With Rivals

Hyundai Motor Group, which is lagging behind rivals in the introduction of newer electric-vehicle models, is stepping up plans for battery-powered cars as governments around the world crack down on polluting fossil fuels. Hyundai Motor Co. and affiliate Kia Motors Corp. plan to bring to market as many as 38 green cars in the next eight years, including seven new models in the five years through 2025, Senior Vice President Lee Ki-sang told reporters Friday. Many of them will be EVs.
Source: Bloomberg

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Toyota Revamps How It Handles Goodwill Service Claims at Dealerships

When customer satisfaction is the aim, it doesn’t help if an automaker’s call-center staffer says one thing and a district field representative says another. Yet that was happening from time to time regarding the authorization of gratis goodwill repair work done at Toyota and Lexus dealerships.
Source: WardsAuto

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How a Fed Rate Hike Could Impact Your Auto Loan

The Federal Reserve decided to raise its key interest rate by another 25-basis-point for the third time this year and the fifth time since December 2015. This brings the benchmark interest rate to a target range of 1.25%-1.50%. Since auto loan rates often follow the fed funds rate, here's how the Fed's move could affect you if you're in the market for a new auto loan, and one factor that matters much more.
Source: The Motley Fool

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Quotable
"We are already seeing the impact of higher rates and tighter credit on auto sales as the Fed increased short term rates three times over the last year. Comparing this November to last November, we are seeing higher lease payments and fewer new leases. The average interest rate on new-vehicle loans, however, has only increased by 20 basis points, resulting in only a $12 increase to the average monthly payment."

    -- Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke, Auto Remarketing, Dec. 13

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