NADA Headlines - 10/16/2013 (Plain Text Version)
David Westcott, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, today warned that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's lack of transparency and unresponsiveness to Congress could end up hurting consumers by increasing the cost of auto loans. “The CFPB is pursuing a policy that could weaken competition in auto lending and result in higher credit costs for millions of consumers,” said Westcott, in remarks to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, where he also called the dealer franchise network the “most efficient, cost effective and competitive way of selling and servicing vehicles anywhere in the world.”
Nearly 80 House members sent a letter to President Barack Obama touting the importance of Japanese automakers and dealers to the U.S. economy as the administration works to negotiate a 12-nation free trade agreement. Reps. Pete P. Gallego, D-Texas, and Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., wrote the letter, which said, “Congress and the administration must continue to foster a business climate that promotes the United States as a premier location for global companies to build, sell and export their products.” It was signed by 79 House members.
At this gleaming, barely year-old Mitsubishi assembly plant, it's the little things that say you're in Thailand and not Toyota City or Tennessee. There's the errant sparrow inside the new cafeteria, apparently trying to nest in an air duct. There are the conspicuous loose and wobbly faucets in the new worker washroom. Don't forget the copious curtains of sparks showering clear across the factory aisles. The dearth of robots. Or the legions of workers swarming the line, especially in quality control. Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s newest factory may be a little rough around the edges. But it is doing something never done before. It just started exporting vehicles from this hot, humid, sometimes chaotic Southeast Asian emerging market to the United States.
Large cost savings expected as it cuts down on transporting parts
For years, General Motors Co. pounded out hoods, fenders and doors for its Tahoe and Yukon sport-utility vehicles at plants in Ohio and Michigan and shipped them to its assembly plant in Arlington, Texas. On Monday, the auto maker officially opened a $200 million metal-stamping plant adjacent to the Arlington factory that reduces that travel to about 20 feet from machine to welder. Estimated savings: about $40 million a year in shipping costs. The new plant, is part of a broader rethinking of logistics by GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson, who is anxious to close the company's profit margin gap with rival Ford Motor Co. His aim is to lift GM's North American margins to 10% from about 8% now, a feat that would generate hundreds of million of dollars in new profit.
European monthly car sales rose the most in more than two years as the end of a recession in the region, price cutting and a government incentive program in Spain helped lift demand. Registrations in September jumped 5.5 percent to 1.19 million vehicles, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers Association, or ACEA, said in a statement. That narrowed the decline this year to 4 percent, for total deliveries of 9.34 million cars. Renault SA and Daimler AG posted the biggest gains last month as an economic recovery in the region spurred consumer spending. Demand surged 29 percent in Spain because of government-backed discounts of as much as 2,000 euros ($2,700) on vehicle trade-ins. Dealer rebates in Germany were the highest in three months.
REMINDER: New Consent Requirements for Telephone Calls and Text Messages Effective Oct. 16
New consent requirements from the Federal Communication Commission for phone calls and text messages go into effect on Oct. 16, 2013. Dealers should review the rules and work with their counsel and any third party vendors to ensure that all phone calls and text messages they make or send (or that are made or sent on their behalf) meet these new requirements. Click here for further details on the new requirements.
Facebook revved up its charm offensive for the auto industry last month, holding its first "summits" in Detroit and Los Angeles for executives from Team Detroit, Carat, GM, Ford and Toyota. The social network has good reason to go the extra mile when wooing carmakers. Just days before going public last year, Facebook's ad business faced a major crisis when General Motors Co. announced it would pull its ads from the site because it wasn't sure if they were having an impact on sales. GM came back to the fold in April, and Facebook has been trying over the last six months to be more strategic about the overtures it makes to automakers. Now it's taking what it believes is a tantalizing pitch for automakers to this fall's digital upfronts: In addition to its reach, Facebook can deliver an audience of people actually in the market to buy a car. Through its data partners, the social network can show automakers how many people exposed to their ads ended up buying their car after at least two months have passed.