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More and more car buyers are turning to social media to get the information they need, so at the National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) convention in Orlando, the best marketers on the social web were recognized and awarded.
The number-crunchers have been earning their keep the last few weeks. With their mathematical weapon of choice in hand, be it a calculator, tally counter or even a trusty abacus, they’ve kept an exacting total of how many vehicles automakers sold over the past 12 months. How did things shake out? Which brand nearly doubled its sales for the year?
Last week Hyundai and Kia made an embarrassing confession; they’ve been overstating the fuel efficiency of their vehicles for the past three years. This miscalculation includes most of the models in both of their lineups. To make things right the South Korean automakers are readjusting the numbers and reimbursing customers. That should help rebuild trust but there could be more fallout from the blunder. Has the resale value of their vehicles been affected?
The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) is tackling two contentious issues facing new car dealers in the U.S. today: two-tier pricing programs and mandatory facility upgrades.
In response to these trends, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has conducted a study revealing the proposed 54.5 mpg CAFE standards for 2025 will cause a significant increase in the technology as well as the cost required to build vehicles and, in turn, increase the price for each vehicle. As a result, many potential new-car buyers will be forced out of the market.
According to estimates calculated by the Environmental Protection Agency and NHTSA, the efficiency standards will cause the average retail price of passenger cars and light trucks to increase by nearly $3,000 by 2025. NADA’s study, “The Effect of Proposed MY 2017-2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards on the New Vehicle Market Population,” states that the price hike may be too much for approximately 7 million lower income consumers, such as college students and working families, as they may no longer qualify for auto financing to purchase the more expensive vehicles.
Regarding the 2025 CAFE requirements, Ford dealership owner Don Chalmers said during the NADA press briefing, ”To work, fuel economy improvements must be affordable. While you can mandate what automakers must build, you can’t dictate what customers will buy, nor can you dictate if a bank will make a loan.”
Chalmers continued, “If my customers can’t buy what I’ve got to sell, there are no savings at the gas pump and there is no environmental benefit. If car and truck buyers do not purchase these new products, we all lose.”
Doug Greenhaus, NADA chief regulatory counsel for environment, health, and safety, summed up the sentiment and suggested that the government must better understand the impact of the proposed CAFE regulations on consumers and auto lending before proposing the lofty mpg mandates. Greenhaus urged, “Disregarding vehicle affordability will undermine the environmental and national security benefits the administration is seeking. The proposed MY 2017-2025 fuel economy rules should be deleted until there is a more accurate picture of how prospective buyers will react.”
That’s according to a statement made by Don Chambers, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) government relations committee.
Under the Obama administration, the plans to boost Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards to a fleet average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 would require the adoption of advanced technologies for each vehicle, in order for automakers to achieve them. It would also mean that a portion of the costs in utilizing these technologies would end up being passed onto consumers, which could result in pricing a number of potential new vehicle buyers out of the market.
A study, which NADA plans to release in February will show that the costs associated with using new fuel saving technologies will be far in excess of government projections, by as much as 60 percent in fact, which means the sticker price of a new vehicle could increase by as much as $5,000.
Chambers’ comments were made during a hearing in Detroit, where members of the public are given the chance to voice their comments on the proposed CAFE regulations, before they’re finalized later this year. Two more hearings are scheduled for later this month, one on January 19 in Philadelphia, another on January 24 in San Francisco.
However, despite criticism from the NADA, the proposed CAFE regs have strong support, not only from environmental groups like the Sierra Club but also the United Auto Workers’ Union and no fewer than 13 automakers, including the Detroit triumvirate of Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.
In fact, many of those who attended the Detroit hearing, believe that in the long run, tougher fuel economy standards will ultimately save motorists money thanks to fewer trips to the pumps, as well as reducing US dependence on foreign oil supplies.
However, German automakers Daimler AG and Volkswagen, which currently offer some of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on sale in the US, won’t back the CAFE proposal because there’s no incentive for diesel fueled vehicles.
Chambers says he supports the notion for more fuel efficient vehicles, but if it increases the price to the point that buyers can no longer obtain financing then “it makes no difference.”
Mitch Bainwol, who heads up the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers believes that, at the end of the day, consumer buying habits will ultimately decide whether automakers can actually meet the proposed Federal fuel economy standards, he also proposes a thorough mid-term review of the CAFE policy to see if the rules actually relate to fuel price trends, technological advances and consumer buying habits.
“Looking into the future, consumer purchasing patterns will be the biggest unknown,” he said, though given CAFE’s patchy track record, perhaps looking at lessons from the past could help paint a clear picture of what’s to come.
[Source: Automotive News]
An old finance maxim states that “by the time you’ve read about it, it’s already too late”, but that hasn’t stopped used car dealers from eagerly snapping up any 4-cylinder or hybrid vehicle as gas prices continue to climb.
With one dealer calling the sudden trend a “panic”, values of previously undesirable cars like the Chevrolet HHR have shot up to $11,000 from the $8,000 or $8,500 they previously commanded.
In an interview with Automotive News, a NADA guides official stated that prices for these types of cars will probably rise between 3 and 4 percent above what the NADA guides state, while SUV and truck prices are set to fall. However, NADA is not set to alter their residual values, in part because they feel that any major spike in gas prices will last for three years, roughly the same term as most leases.
[Source: Automotive News]
The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) has asked the U.S. government to suspend the Cash-for-Clunkers program immediately as it believes the $3 billion in earmarked funds have already been used up.
NADA Chairman John McEleney told Automotive News that based on a survey of its dealers it believes the $3 billion in funding could be used up as of today. But according to the Transportation Department, only 411,624 claims have been filed, accounting for a total of $1,72 billion. The difference says McEleny is due to rejected claims that have yet to be re-submittted.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, has said that the $3 billion should last until Labor day, but NADA’s track record is also pretty good, as the group was the one to raise the alarm that the initial $1 billion in funding, intended to run for several months had dried up in just two weeks.
Earlier in the week LaHood said that the Transportation Department is readying a plan to wind-down the Cash-for-Clunkers program, commenting that even if the fund dries up, the dealers will still be reimbursed.
[Source: Automotive News]