Trump Will Offer Boost for Carmakers Today
President Donald J. Trump will tell autoworkers and car executives in a Wednesday speech outside Detroit that his administration is reopening an automaker-requested review of a strict fuel economy mandate, a senior White House official said. According to The Detroit News, the Trump official said the administration plans to spend the next year reviewing data and will set gas mileage standards in 2018 that are technically and economically realistic and would allow automakers to continue growing and adding jobs. The declaration from Trump will pull back the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision in January under the Obama administration to move forward the fuel economy requirement of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The EPA finalized the mileage rules, which were originally set to be reviewed for their feasibility by April 2018, a week before Trump took office. The announcement is expected to be witnessed by hundreds of autoworkers from General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Ford Motor Co. near the American Center for Mobility at Willow Run. For more on today’s announcement by President Trump regarding an administration review of fuel economy standards, click here.
Say Goodbye to Affordable Clothing if Border Tax is Passed
House Republicans continue to aggressively push their border adjustment tax (BAT) and, if successful, Americans will soon find it hard to get affordable clothing, writes Rick Helfenbein, CEO of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, in an opinion piece in The Hill. Does a bold statement like that seem incredulous? It's not. If BAT passes, there will be fewer retail stores to clothe you, and fewer name brands to satisfy your fashion prerogatives. Any legislator who thinks retailers need another tax or price hike is not in tune with the current economic environment. If BAT passes, you will be paying more for your imported consumables. You will buy less, and you will have fewer places to shop. And, those are just the facts! The economic theory that the dollar will adjust (and all will be OK) is just absolute fiction. AIADA opposes the BAT and hosted a special dealer fly-in last week in Washington. Click here to read a recap of the event and find out what you can do to fight back against a potential BAT. For the rest of Helfenbein’s piece on what the BAT would do to the retail industry, click here.
Audi German Headquarters Searched in Emissions Probe
German authorities on Wednesday searched the offices of luxury automaker Audi in connection with the scandal over emissions tests by its parent company, Volkswagen, reports USA Today. The raids were part of a fraud investigation into Ingolstadt-based Audi, launched by prosecutors in Munich several weeks ago. Volkswagens and Audi vehicles with 2-liter diesel engines make up the bulk of the vehicles caught up in Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal. Audi spokesman Moritz Drechsel said that the raids were focused on the company headquarters in Ingolstadt and at its plant in Neckarsulm in the neighboring state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. “Audi is fully cooperating with authorities as we have the highest interest in clarifying matters,” Drechsel said. Volkswagen has admitted it equipped diesel engines with software that detected when the vehicle was being tested and turned the emissions controls off during everyday driving. For more on a search of Audi’s German headquarters, click here.
How Many Cars Does the Average American Own?
You've heard the Notorious B.I.G.-espoused philosophy of "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems." Well, researchers at the far-less-notorious UMTRI — the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute — recently released a study spanning from 1984 to 2015 showing instead, "fewer cars, less driving." According to Cars.com, the ongoing study by university researcher Michael Sivak, now in its ninth iteration, focuses on different aspects of motorization in the U.S. and concluded that both car ownership and miles driven have declined significantly per person and per household since peaking more than a decade ago. After peaking in 2006 with 2.05 cars per household, car ownership decreased steadily for the next seven years, reaching a low of 1.927 — a level not seen since 1992. On a per-person basis, 2006 was also a zenith with 0.79 cars owned by the average American, only to fall each year (except for an uptick in 2011) until 2013. Read more about current American vehicle ownership rates here.
5 Cars That Deliver the Best Value Over 5 Years
Car shoppers compare models looking for the best price, reports CBS Money Watch, sometimes forgetting that other ongoing costs associated with vehicle ownership can make or break their automotive budget. "Sometimes factors other than price, such as depreciation, maintenance and fuel costs, can significantly increase total ownership costs," said Mike Sadowski, vice president of operations and general manager of Kelley Blue Book. Kelley has released their annual awards for the brand and vehicles that have the lowest total cost to own over the first five years. Among mainstream brands Subaru – whose vehicles hold their value very well – was the winner. Acura, which has lower average prices than some of its luxury competitors, was named best luxury brand. Acura, winner for the second year in a row, placed either first or second in all seven of the measurements that go into calculating the Kelley five-year cost to own. CBS Money Watch is taking a closer look at five of the Kelley selections of SUVs, sedans, and pickups here.
What Could the Border Adjustment Tax Mean for Your Dealership?
On the heels of AIADA’s Washington, D.C., Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) Fly-In this month, join AIADA for a special AutoTalk session with AIADA President Cody Lusk on Tuesday, March 21, for an in-depth look at the issue and its importance to international nameplate dealers. The 20 percent BAT is a provision in the “Better Way” tax proposal, which is currently being discussed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lusk will provide insight into the status of this destructive tax proposal and its potential ramifications for dealers and their businesses and take questions from participants.
Topics covered in this special AutoTalk webinar will include:
Just what is the BAT?
Who is proposing the tax, and is it part of a larger tax plan?
Does the tax apply to vehicles assembled in the U.S., like the Toyota Camry? Or does it only impact cars and light trucks that are imported into the country?
What is the projected impact on the annual vehicle sales rate?
How will this affect consumer affordability?
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