June 6, 2012
Romney Vows to Sell U.S. Stake in GM Promptly
According to Automotive News, Mitt Romney plans to quickly dispose of the federal government's remaining stake in General Motors if he wins the November election. Romney, a frequent critic of the U.S. government's rescue of the auto industry, said in an interview that he would also review the Obama administration's plan to nearly double fuel economy targets. "There is no reason for the government to continue to hold" its GM stake, Romney, a Michigan native and son of former American Motors CEO George Romney, told The News in an interview published today. In the interview, Romney criticized President Obama for not selling off the stock, even at a loss. "The president is delaying the sale of the shares to try and avoid the story that the taxpayer took another loss," Romney said. "I would get the company independent from government and run for the interests of the consumer and the enterprise and its workers – not for the political considerations of government officials." The U.S. Treasury has held a 26 percent stake in the automaker since the company's initial public offering in November 2010. Click here for more on Romney’s comments on how he would handle the government’s stake in GM if elected.
Auto Workers Urged to Oppose Japan's Entry Into trade Talks
The United Auto Workers union and Ford Motor Co. urged the automaker's more than 40,000 hourly workers to oppose Japan's entry into free-trade talks, reports The Detroit News. "Japan's auto industry has not done the hard work we had to do to remain globally competitive. Bailing out the Japanese auto industry with a one-sided trade agreement will jeopardize the American auto recovery," said the letter distributed at all of Ford's U.S. plants signed by UAW vice president Jimmy Settles and Ford vice president for North American manufacturing Jim Tetreualt. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks currently include Australia, Chile, Peru, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Vietnam. Canada, Mexico, and Japan may be invited to join the talks as early as this month. The letter asks UAW members to "contact the White House, your senators, and congressman now and ask these elected leaders not to jeopardize the American auto recovery and your job by bailing out the Japanese auto industry." Click here to read why Japan’s inclusion in the TPP is important to the U.S. and international auto dealers. To contact your members of Congress and let them know of your support for Japan’s inclusion, click here. Read more about the UAW’s efforts to prevent Japan’s entry into the TPP here.
Volkswagen Aims to Double its U.S. Sales in 6 Years
Volkswagen will step up its presence in the crossover-SUV market in a big way as the automaker elbows its way into the mainstream of the U.S. car market, reports USA Today. VW is in the early stages of an ambitious plan to boost its American car sales from 324,400 last year to 800,000 by 2018. "We need a core of products to drive our volume," VW of America CEO Jonathan Browning says. After decades of trying to convince Americans to buy cars engineered and priced for European tastes, VW aimed those cars at the heart of the American car market. It reduced Jetta prices to compete with popular models like the Honda Civic. The new Passat's size and price pit it squarely against favorites like the Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry. The next step will be moving VW's crossovers from the fringes to the center of their segments, to compete with Chevrolet, Ford, Honda, and Toyota. The next-generation Tiguan small crossover should be reworked in size, price, and features to take on models like the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, and Honda CR-V. Read more on what VW is doing to double its U.S. sales in the coming years by clicking here.
Best Family Cars of 2012
Parents make decisions all day long ("Should I let the baby cry it out?" "What can I cook tonight?"), but picking a set of wheels is one of the most crucial ones they'll make. So for a fifth year Parents magazine has teamed up with Edmunds.com to help parents sort through the dozens of models to find the ideal one for your families and their wallets. As always, safety is their primary concern. For that reason, every vehicle on this year’s list is equipped with antilock brakes, electronic stability control, and a minimum of six air bags. Plus, a record 14 of their recommended cars earned a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). To help parents save money, the publications have favored vehicles that get great mileage and represent the premier value in their class. They paid close attention to kid-friendly features while also keeping in mind that a smooth, stylish ride makes everyone happy. Click here to check out the list, which includes international nameplate models like the Toyota Prius V, Honda Civic Hybrid, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda5, Honda CR-V, and Kia Optima.
Demand for Fiat 500 Abarth Outstripping Supply
Barely a month after launching sales of the new Fiat 500 Abarth the maker has told dealers it will no longer be able to supply orders for the rest of the 2012 model-year. The high-performance version of what Italians call the Cinquecento has helped kick-start demand. But sales have surged in recent months, buoyed by more aggressive marketing and the launch of the new Abarth edition, reports MSNBC. “The Fiat 500 Abarth is unstoppable,” Fiat brand boss Tim Kuniskis said in a statement. “Dealer orders for the Abarth dramatically exceeded the number of units we had scheduled for production. We had to schedule additional production to try and keep up with the demand. Most Abarth units are sold within one day.” A company spokesman stressed that some Abarth models are still available at dealerships around the country though, “customers might have to look around” by calling or visiting several dealers to find one. “I am not surprised” to see the Abarth version sell out, said Rebecca Lindland, an automotive analyst with IHS, “because the American buyer who wants a Fiat 500 wants a fun, powerful vehicle with a manual transmission.” Click here for more on sales of the Fiat 500 Abarth.
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