NADA Headlines - 12/20/2012 (Plain Text Version)
Several factors look good for auto finance growth in 2013, TransUnion says. They are low interest rates, low delinquencies, more and bigger auto loans, sharper competition among auto lenders, and high replacement demand. "Overall, when you look at the industry, you're seeing continued growth," said Peter Turek, automotive vice president in Chicago-based TransUnion's financial services business unit.
Automaker says 'good year' would be 18% gain; experts say that's not high enough
Ford Motor Co. is eyeing double-digit sales gains in 2013 for its lackluster Lincoln Motor Co. brand. The Dearborn automaker has set the bar for its Lincoln brand, telling dealers at a recent dealer meeting that an 18-percent rise in sales in 2013 would constitute a "good year," said a company source with knowledge of the meetings. Any sales gains will benefit the brand, which has experienced more than a 60-percent sales decline from its peak two decades ago. But an 18-percent boost may not be enough for the struggling luxury brand.
With the U.S. government announcing a plan to sell its stake in General Motors Co. [Wednesday], 2013 becomes the year GM sets its course for the future. Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson will move closer to remaking GM as a real company and not a ward of the government; will introduce a slew of new models, replacing 70 percent of its U.S. lineup over a year and a half; will continue reorganizing GM in ways both large and small; and will try to build on its string of quarterly profits. “As today's news travels around the world, the question will be asked, ‘Did GM truly learn the lessons of the bankruptcy?”’ Akerson told employees in a memo yesterday. “Our results show that we are changing the company so we never go down that path again.”
Former GMAC exits liquidity program
Ally Financial has repaid $4.5 billion of debt owed to the government after it helped bail the company out during the 2008 banking industry meltdown. Ally, which used to be called GMAC Financial Services, was the financial arm of General Motors until GM sold its controlling stake in Ally in 2006. The government first invested in Ally in 2008, with the Treasury Department eventually gaining a 74% equity stake in Ally in December 2010.
A new crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is turning out to be a difficult hurdle for some car makers whose models had previously won top honors in the safety group's evaluations with apparent ease. In a recent test session models from Toyota failed to make the list of cars winning the Top Safety Pick + award from the IIHS, a safety-testing organization funded by the insurance industry. In the past the brand had been a regular winner but this time its Camry and Prius v models received “poor” ratings in the small-overlap frontal crash test, which focuses the power of a collision on parts of a vehicle that tend to be relatively weak. Of the cars tested in the latest round, only the Honda Accord and Suzuki Kizashi received good ratings in the new test.
Production moving from Ontario to Lansing for next-gen; no estimates on new jobs
General Motors Co.'s next-generation Camaro will flex its muscle on American turf. The Detroit automaker said Wednesday that the Camaro will be manufactured at its Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant. The car is currently produced at a GM plant in Oshawa, Ontario.