NADA Headlines - 07/07/2017 (Plain Text Version)
Two lanes apart at a noisy, fast-paced auto auction near Detroit, two vehicles show why major U.S. automakers have a problem with used cars. In one lane of the Manheim auction facility, a black 2015 Chevy Malibu sedan with barely 20,000 miles on it sold for just over $13,000, less than half its original sticker price. In the other lane, a white 2013 Chevy Silverado pick-up truck sold for $11,500 - despite having 200,000 miles on the odometer.
Vehicle sales are down, automaker incentive spending is up and some consumer credit scores have fallen. But no need for handwringing, say Mark Scarpelli and Steven Szakaly, chairman and chief economist, respectively, for the National Automobile Dealers Assn. That trio of apparent negatives needs perspective, they say during an economic briefing with journalists. NADA predicts light-vehicle sales of 17.1 million this year, following dealer deliveries of about 17.4 million in both 2016 and 2015.
As automakers in the U.S. struggle to keep selling new cars to American consumers at a record clip, Toyota Motor Corp. plans to turn to rental car companies and other fleet operators for a boost. Toyota will nearly match last year’s total sales to fleet customers, which means the company has some catching up to do. Deliveries to rental car companies and other fleets were down by about 20 percent during the first six months of the year, according to Jim Lentz, chief executive officer of Toyota’s North American operations.
Supporters and critics of self-driving cars agree there are lessons to be gained from automation in transportation sectors like aviation and rail. They disagree on whether the lessons are good or bad. Advocates note that the U.S. aviation industry has used autopilot to fly jetliners for years with few problems. Train systems have been automated in parts of the country where transit is heavily used as well, which advocates say reduces the likelihood of deadly crashes on Amtrak and popular commuter railways.
U.S. employers added a robust 222,000 jobs in June, the most in four months, a reassuring sign that businesses may be confident enough to keep hiring despite a slow-growing economy. The Labor Department says the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4 percent from 4.3 percent in May, which was a 16-year low. The rate rose because more Americans began looking for work and not all of them found jobs.
A former Audi executive has been charged in federal court with conspiracy to defraud the United States and wire fraud for his role in parent company Volkswagen AG's efforts to rig hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles to cheat U.S. emission standards. The U.S. District Court in Detroit said Thursday that Zaccheo Giovanni Pamio, who is Audi’s former department manager of thermodynamics and exhaust gas aftertreatment in Germany, is being charged with those offenses, and with making false statements about U.S. Clean Air Act.
Electric vehicles threaten oil’s future but they must keep improving to overcome the advantage of conventional cars