NADA Headlines - 09/03/2013 (Plain Text Version)
General Motors Co. expects 2013 sales of Chevrolet vehicles to reach 5 million for the first time in GM's 100-year history, spurred in part by growth in the Middle East, said the global head of Chevrolet, Alan Batey. “When I look out and think about where we need to take the brand, the Middle East is a significant part of that opportunity,” he said in Dubai at an event for the media. Chevrolet sales worldwide in 2012 were just under this year's outlook, at 4.95 million, GM said. About 65 percent of Chevrolet's sales have come from outside North America as it focuses on emerging markets, Batey said. Top markets for growth are the U.S., China, Russia, Mexico and Brazil, he said. Political unrest hasn't hurt GM's sales in the Middle East, where it expects continued growth, said John Stadwick, president and managing director of the company's operations in the region.
There are 78,000 abandoned buildings in this city standing in various levels of decay. Services have fallen into dysfunction, and debts are piling ever higher. Yet for all the misery, Detroit's bankruptcy gives an American city a rare chance to reshape itself from top to bottom. But reinventing a city so devastated is hardly a sure thing, and the questions about how to proceed loom .... Could its old automobile manufacturing economy be shifted into one centering on technology, bioscience and international trade? The chances of a true makeover have grown significantly since July, when an emergency manager assigned by the state to oversee the city's finances sought bankruptcy protection. The city is expected to emerge from the courts a year from now no longer juggling the $18 billion in debt that had sidetracked it and, according to the emergency manager, more capably providing essential services that make a city livable, like stopping crime and putting out fires. All of that, planners said, should make a larger transformation, outside the court system, conceivable.
The good news continues in auto finance with easier credit terms, growth in leasing and increased average loan amounts, according to second-quarter statistics released by Experian Automotive. "Loans have become more accessible in recent years, and we've seen a steady growth in the percentage of consumers financing their vehicles," Melinda Zabritski, senior director of automotive credit for Experian Automotive, Schaumburg, Ill., said in a statement. "Obviously, this is good news for the auto industry, but it's also good for consumers because this, combined with the reduction we have seen in delinquencies, shows that they are feeling more confident in their ability to take on more debt and pay it off in a timely manner," she said.
FTC Increases Annual Do-Not-Call Registration Fee; Preserves 5 Area Code Exemption
The Federal Trade Commission has announced that effective Oct. 1, 2013, the National Do Not Call annual registration fee will be increased as follows: Each area code of data will increase from $58 to $59, and during the second six months of an entity's annual subscription period from $29 to $30; and the maximum amount that will be charged to any single entity for accessing area codes of data is increased from $15,962 to $16,228. Access to the first five registered area codes continues to be exempt from the fee requirement. Accordingly, dealerships that register six or more area codes must pay the revised fee when they renew their current subscription accounts. Click here for more information.
Californians are known as early technology adopters, and electric vehicles are no exception. More than half of consumers who registered a new electric vehicle through June did so in five metropolitan markets, with more than 35 percent in two California regions: San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to Polk data. Other top markets for electric vehicle registrations this year are Seattle, Atlanta and New York, the data company said. While electric vehicle sales are still a fraction of U.S. auto sales, new registrations of electric vehicles to individuals topped 9,700 in California in the first half of 2013 and represented 1.1 percent of the state's auto sales. Electric vehicle market share was 0.4 percent in 2012, according to the California New Car Dealers Association. “A lot of the manufacturers have targeted California for the launch of their electric vehicle product,” said Brian Maas, president of the California dealers association, in a telephone interview. “Our consumers are cutting-edge and early adopters in this area.”
Automakers love to display their technological prowess at the big auto shows, searching for that cutting-edge feature that will dazzle consumers. A few years ago it was electric drive. No respectable auto show stand could be without a car with a plug stuck into its side. But now that seems so, you know, 2010. Instead, autonomous driving technology will be to the Frankfurt auto show what electric drive was a few years back. Most automakers will feel compelled to include at least a taste of it in their concept vehicles, even if fully autonomous vehicles are years -- or decades -- away. So you'll see loads of "here, let us do that for you" features.
Renault SA Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn will take more direct control of day-to-day operations at France's second-largest automaker following the departure of Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares last week. Two new managing boards will be set up and report to Ghosn, the manufacturer, based in the Paris suburb of Boulogne- Billancourt, said Tuesday in a statement. One set of executives will focus on developing and building vehicles, while the other will be responsible for marketing and sales. The arrangement eliminates the COO position and is permanent, Raluca Barb, a spokeswoman, said by phone. Tavares, 55, was the second executive in five years to hold the chief operating officer position. The management reorganization concentrates operational responsibility at Renault in the hands of Ghosn, 59, who also runs Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Co. and the two manufacturers' 14-year-old production and sales alliance.
The hundreds of thousands of cars that Hyundai has been selling over the years have added up when it comes to funding research into pediatric cancer. Along the way, Hyundai's Hope on Wheels campaign has become the nation's second largest nonprofit devoted to the cause. With September marking National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Hyundai and its dealers are contributing an other $10.3 million to the cause. That brings total contributions to $72 million so far over the past 15 years. Of course, individuals are welcome to contribute as well. This month, Hope on Wheels will present $250,000 grants to 41 pediatric cancer research hospitals across the nation. Eight U.S. hospitals have received more than $1 million. Hyundai raises money for the campaign by sponsoring 5K runs and dealer promotions, like the ones where young cancer patients put their handprints on cars.