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News from OverseasBack

NADAFuel Economy Great, Extra Cost Isn’t, Says NADA Chairman

National Automobile Dealer Assn. Chairman Bill Fox is all for better fuel economy. But he’s not keen on potentially taking millions of car consumers out of the market because of a regulatory fuel-economy mandate. That’s how many people could defer buying a new car because they can’t afford the advanced technology needed to achieve escalating mileage targets set by the federal government, he says. The government wants automaker fleets to achieve an average fuel economy of 52.5 mpg (4.5 L/100 km) by 2025. NADA estimates that would cost an additional $3,200 per car. “Who’s going to pay that? The consumer,” Fox said at the annual F&I Industry Summit [in Las Vegas].

Source: WardsAuto

After Speedy Recovery, Will Fed Tap the Brakes on U.S. Auto Sales?

Federal Reserve’s near-zero rate policies supported car sales; decision to tighten could chill market

Few parts of the U.S. economy better illustrate the benefits and perils of the Federal Reserve’s near-zero interest-rate policies than the auto industry, and few will be as exposed to the fallout if central bank officials decide this week to end America’s seven-year era of rock-bottom borrowing costs. Auto debt owed by U.S. households in the second quarter this year rose above $1 trillion for the first time, fueling car purchases and a Lazarus-like revival for an industry brought down by the 2007-2009 financial crisis. Central bank officials begin a two-day meeting Wednesday to consider whether an economy deeply damaged by financial crisis can now stand with less support from low rates engineered by the Fed. Low rates, combined with cheap gas and pent-up demand among drivers with older cars, brought America’s entrenched car culture back to life. Car and light-truck sales are on pace to rise above 17 million units this year for the first time since 2001. What happens next for the industry depends a great deal
on how aggressively the Fed moves.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Ford-Alcoa Partner on New Aluminum for Vehicles

2016 Ford F-150 will have three parts with the new alloy, with production starting this fall

The 2016 Ford F-150 will have aluminum parts from supplier Alcoa manufactured in a revolutionary way that makes them stronger, lighter, easier to work with and in greater abundance, which should improve supply and cost. The secret: Alcoa’s new micromill that manufactures a coil of an improved aluminum alloy in 20 minutes compared with 20 days using conventional processes. And it can be done in a plant that is a quarter of the size. The ability to supply aluminum exponentially faster eases fears of a shortage as the auto industry increasingly turns to the material to reduce the weight of vehicles, which in turn makes them more fuel efficient as automakers work to meet new efficiency standards in 2025. To bring this to fruition, Ford and Alcoa formed a partnership.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Barra: Opel Brand is ‘Vital to GM’

General Motors CEO Mary Barra stressed that the recovering European branch Opel is vital to GM as she showed off a new version of the mainstay Astra compact at the Frankfurt auto show. Barra said Tuesday the new Astra will “play a significant role in the long term success of Opel.” The brand based in Ruesselsheim, Germany, has been struggling in recent years in a fiercely competitive market for mass-market vehicles in Europe, but is expected to return to profit by 2016. “Opel is vital to GM,” Barra said.

Source: Detroit Free Press

VW to Reinvent Itself as a Maker of Smartphones on Wheels

Volkswagen AG, long associated with convenient cars for the masses, is positioning itself for an era when the automobile fulfills a bigger role than just moving people around. Volkswagen is looking to enable its cars to send and receive data as well as drive on their own, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company said in a statement Monday. The German manufacturer also plans to roll out 20 electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2020, ranging from compacts to upscale sedans like the Phaeton, it said.

Source: Bloomberg

Ally Donates 3,000 New Library Books to Detroit Public Schools

In honor of local students going back to school, Ally Financial recently announced that it will be donating 3,000 new library books to schools in the Detroit Public School district. Officials highlighted elementary and middle school libraries throughout the district will receive 50 new books that focus on various financial literacy skills and concepts with selections for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade reading levels. Ally’s city-wide book donation kicked off at Spain Elementary-Middle School in Detroit late last week where Ally volunteers hand-delivered the new books to the school.

Source: Auto Remarketing

Posted by Sue Robinson on 18/09/2015