Demand Fuels Hot Cars Like the Civic Type-R

First Up 06/16/17

AIADA Heads to White House to Talk Tax Reform & More
The American International Automobile Dealers Association went to the White House this week to participate in a meeting on tax reform with White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and other auto industry leaders. Auto Remarketing reports that AIADA’s charge was led by president Cody Lusk, vice president of government relations Rachel Robinson and vice chairman and California dealer Howard Hakes, who all supported the administration's efforts to produce a tax reform plan that promotes economic growth, rewards entrepreneurship, and creates a level playing field for all Americans. "Today's meeting was representative of how deeply the Trump administration cares about American businesses, large and small, and wants to see us succeed," Hakes said. "A tax reform bill that allows business owners to invest in their communities and hire new employees will benefit all Americans. It's refreshing to sit at a table with leaders who 'get it' and are ready to take action.” During Wednesday's meeting, attendees discussed a number of aspects of a potential tax reform bill, including the contentious 20 percent Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) that has been proposed in the House of Representatives and is opposed by AIADA. For the full story, click here.

U.S. States Could Not Set Self-Driving Car Rules Under Republican Plan
California and other states would be barred from setting their own rules governing design and testing of self-driving cars, while federal regulators would be blocked from demanding pre-market approval for autonomous vehicle technology, according to a U.S. House Republican proposal reviewed by Reuters on Thursday. The draft legislation, while far from becoming law, still represents a victory for General Motors Co, Alphabet Inc, Tesla Inc and other automakers and technology companies seeking to persuade Congress and the Trump administration to pre-empt rules under consideration in California, New York and other states that could limit deployment of self-driving vehicles. The industry also opposed an Obama administration proposal last year that raised the possibility of giving regulators the power to review and approve self-driving car technology before it was put into service, similar to the vetting by Federal Aviation Administration of new technology for aircraft. The 45-page draft package of 14 bills would designate the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as the lead agency for regulating self-driving cars, pre-empting state rules. For more on self-driving cars, click here.

BASF Says Neutrals and Blues are the Future of Car Colors
Each year, paint and chemical producer BASF releases its predictions for the future of car colors in a design book with 65 samples of what the company believes will be popular in the next four to five years in different regions. The company develops the samples based on a wide array of data, as well as observations of trends in art and design. AutoBlog reports that for the North American region, BASF is expecting neutral colors such as black, white, silver, and gray to remain popular. Paul Czornij, head of design for BASF's color division, said the reasons for this could include wanting a car in a color that will appeal to buyers in the used market, but that it could also just be that people like the look of those colors. Other things to look out for in the future are paints with more pearl and metal flake, in part because they highlight aspects of the bodywork nicely. Also, while neutral tones will be the most popular, Czornij said that where there is color, people will be choosing more saturated hues, so we should see some richer, bolder paints down the road. Click here for more on color.

Demand Fuels Hot Cars Like the Civic Type-R
Young Americans have no enthusiasm for cars and can’t wait for the next generation of self-driving automobiles. So goes the conventional wisdom. Someone forget to tell consumers. The Detroit News reports that Honda debuts its ferocious 306-horsepower, $34,775 Honda Civic Type-R to dealerships this month, the latest in a flood of driver-centric enthusiast cars aimed at the heart of the North American market. Click here for pictures. Other affordable millennial-friendly toys include the Ford Focus RS, VW Golf R, and Toyota 86, and off-road rascals like the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Toyota Tacoma TRD. They join a bushel of all-new $60K-something getaway cars like the winged Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, high-revving Mustang GT350, tree-chewing Ford F150 Raptor pickup, and the hellacious Demon and Hellcat Dodge Challenger twins. “Don’t believe that boys don’t put posters of cars on their walls anymore,” said Rob Keough, Civic product planner at the Type-R’s Montreal media launch. “I’ve been on the auto show circuit and there is no shortage of young fans for cars like the Type-R and Mustang and Camaro.” For more on what cars like the new Civic mean to young drivers, click here.

'Where Can I Fill Up?': Toyota Deploys Watson Ads to Pitch Prius Prime
Toyota is using artificial intelligence to push the environmentally-friendly Prius Prime on the Weather Channel app and Toyota is the first automaker to deploy Watson Ads, a cognitive ad format that meshes machine learning, natural language understanding and dialogue tools to engage consumers in one-to-one discussions at scale. When consumers run across Toyota's Watson Ads, they can write a question or simply ask aloud. Watson is prepared to tackle an array of inquiries including, "How far can I go on one charge?" According to Automotive News, the company is dabbling in the artificial intelligence space at a time when consumers are growing more comfortable using personal assistants such as Apple's Siri and Amazon Alexa. In the auto world, Hyundai has empowered Alexa to remotely start vehicles and control locks if a person owns an Amazon Echo smart speaker. On the consumer education side, Kia uses artificial intelligence to tout its hybrid Niro crossover through a chat bot in Facebook Messenger. The "NiroBot" fields questions and links consumers to web pages to set up test drives and search inventory. For the full story, click here.

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Around the Web

It’s Going to Cost You 30 Percent More to Insure That Tesla [NBC]

Ford Once Built A Supercar Pickup Truck [Jalopnik]

12 Things to Watch In The 24 Hours of Le Mans [Automobile Mag]

How Car Dealer Handles a Panhandler: At First, 'We Tried to be Polite' [AutoBlog]