White House Econ Adviser to Meet with Auto Leaders on Tax Reform

First Up 06/13/17

White House Econ Adviser to Meet with Auto Leaders on Tax Reform 
White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn is slated to meet with automobile industry leaders on Wednesday about tax reform as the Trump administration works to flesh out its tax plan, reports The Hill. Representatives from the National Automobile Dealers Association, American International Automobile Dealers Association, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Global Automakers, and the Automotive Service Association are expected to attend, according to White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom. The meeting will be the latest of about one dozen tax-reform listening sessions that the White House plans to hold with business leaders. Last week, Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with transportation industry leaders, including Airlines for America, the American Trucking Association, the American Association of Railroads, UPS, and FedEx. For more on AIADA’s meeting at the White House tomorrow, click here.

Hyundai to Join Tiny Crossover Fray with Kona 
Years after some of its competitors entered the ultrahot subcompact crossover segment, Hyundai aims to get a slice of the action with its new Kona, reports Automotive News. Hyundai revealed the crossover Tuesday at a world premiere at the automaker's amusement parklike facility an hour northwest of Seoul. The Kona is to go on sale in Korea this month and is to hit the U.S. in early 2018. It will be the fourth crossover in Hyundai's U.S. showrooms after the Tucson, Santa Fe Sport, and Santa Fe. The Kona is expected to lift Hyundai's U.S. sales, which have dropped 7.5 percent this year through May with a lineup dominated by cars and coupes, segments that have slumped in recent years. Built on the platform that also underpins Hyundai's Accent subcompact car and Kia's forthcoming Stonic subcompact crossover, the Kona also introduces a design language that departs from that of Hyundai cars and will spread through Hyundai's crossover lineup. For more on Hyundai’s new subcompact crossover, click here.

Most SUVs Earn Poor or Marginal Headlight Grades 
Only 14 of 37 midsize SUVS tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety earned “good” or “acceptable” ratings in headlight tests conducted by the group, which represents the insurance industry, reports The Detroit News. The institute said the 2017 Volvo XC60 and 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe are the only midsize SUVs that earned a “good” rating on headlight performance tests on luxury and nonluxury models. Eight other luxury midsize SUVs tested — the 2017 Acura MDX and RDX, BMW X5, Buick Envision, Infiniti QX70, Lexus NX and RX, Mercedes-Benz GLE — earned “acceptable” headlight ratings, as did four nonluxury models — the Honda Pilot, Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and Toyota Highlander. The remaining midsize SUVs that were tested earned “marginal” or “poor” headlight grades. For more on SUV headlight ratings, click here.

Amazon Plans to Sell Cars in Europe 
Amazon plans a digital assault on the retail automotive sector and is sounding the attack in Europe first, sources have told Automobilwoche, an affiliate of Automotive News. The Internet giant has recruited Christoph Moeller, a partner at the Oliver Wyman consultancy for the effort. He was responsible for the auto industry at the firm up until last February. Amazon is spending large sums to build up its new unit, which will be run from Luxembourg and will start by selling cars in the UK. “It has been luring experts with fat pay packages for some time,” an automotive consultant said. Amazon is exerting “massive pressure to add yet another supporting pillar to the market in the form of test drives,” said an executive at one manufacturer. In scattered instances, it is already possible to get test drives of Mercedes models at Amazon. For more on Amazon’s foray into the auto retail sector, click here.

Tim Cook Says Apple is Focusing on an Autonomous Car System 
Bloomberg reports that after years toiling away in secret on its car project, Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has for the first time laid out exactly what the company is up to in the automotive market: It’s concentrating on self-driving technology. “We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook said in an interview on Bloomberg Television on June 5. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important.” He went on to say that, “We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects." The prospect of self-driving cars has seen a slew of technology companies push into the auto industry, which is estimated to be worth $6.7 trillion by 2030, according to McKinsey & Co. For more on Apple’s focus on autonomous vehicle technology, click here.

CNA National Takes Two Top Spots in 2017 Dealers' Choice Awards  
For the 13th consecutive year, CNA National is being recognized as the best in the industry by vehicle dealers nationwide. The company earned first-place Diamond Awards for both “Best Service Contract Provider” and “Best Reinsurance Provider” in the 2017 Dealers’ Choice Awards. Dealers have voted CNA National a number-one provider every year since this national survey began in 2005. The company has earned a total of 22 Dealers’ Choice Awards, including “Best Service Contract Provider” in 2005-2010 and 2012-2017 and “Best Reinsurance Provider” in 2011-2013 and 2017, making CNA National the most-awarded F&I company in the industry. “It’s an incredible honor to earn the top spot among both service contract providers and reinsurance providers in 2017,” says Joe Becker, president and chief executive officer. “We’ve always put great emphasis on maintaining high service levels for our dealers and their customers, so it’s extremely gratifying to see that this year’s votes from dealerships reflect our efforts.” To learn more about how you can work with the best in the industry, call (800) 345-0191 x450 or visit www.cnanational.com.

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