AIADA Chairman Howard Hakes on NAFTA, Tariffs, and Vehicle Affordability

First Up 09/03/19

AIADA Chairman Howard Hakes on NAFTA, Tariffs, and Vehicle Affordability
This summer has been busy for Washington with U.S.-China trade war threats, CAFE regulations, and a historic cut in interest rates. CBT Automotive Network reports that the folks at AIADA have been following these developments closely and measuring the impact they will have on the industry. Recently, the network caught up with Howard Hakes, the 2019 Chairman for AIADA to discuss these industry events in more detail. Watch his interview here. 

Hurricane Dorian Prompts Storm Prep Along Atlantic Coast
In a matter of days, Hurricane Dorian went from a potential nuisance for end-of-the-month sales for Florida car dealers to the most powerful meteorological threat to form this year, reports Automotive News. The Category 3 storm was downgraded overnight from Category 4 on Monday after reaching Category 5 over the long weekend. It still packed maximum sustained winds exceeding 120 mph on Tuesday morning as it stalled over the Bahamas, about 100 miles east of West Palm Beach, Fla., according to the National Hurricane Center. Evacuations – along with hurricane and storm surge warnings and watches – were issued along several coastal areas. Several areas of Georgia and the Carolinas began to prepare for the storm. Florida, one of the country's key auto markets, represents 7 percent of new-vehicle sales, according to Cox Automotive. Read more here. 

Porsche's $3,100-a-Month Subscriptions Spreading to More Cities
Porsche is expanding its app-based subscription service to four new cities in the U.S. and Canada, deepening its experiment in flexible car ownership even as other automakers back away, reports The Detroit News. The luxury sports-car brand of Volkswagen AG is adding Las Vegas, San Diego, Phoenix, and Toronto to the pilot program it started in Atlanta almost two years ago. The price of its two-tiered monthly subscription service, Porsche Passport, will increase $100 to as much as $3,100 a month. Porsche Drive, a shorter-term program, has a four-hour minimum that costs as little as $269. Automakers are dangling subscriptions to try to reach younger consumers accustomed to streaming movies on Netflix or summoning rides from Uber, with mixed results. Read more here.

These 9 Cars Are About to Disappear from Dealer Lots After Being Discontinued
For car shoppers who have had their heart set on a Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius C, or a Buick LaCrosse, they had better act fast, reports USA Today. Those vehicles are among a handful of models that are disappearing quickly after automakers recently announced decisions to discontinue them and several other poorly selling cars. Take the Cadillac ATS, for example. Once billed as General Motors' response to its German luxury competitors, the ATS earned critical praise but stumbled when sales of passenger cars plunged. GM announced the car's demise in 2018. Find out which vehicles are getting tough to find on dealer lots here. 

VW's U.S. Sales Gains on Track to Erase Losses from Emissions Scandal
Volkswagen's long-term dream is to return to its glory days from 50 years ago, when the German mass-market brand sold more than half a million vehicles in the U.S. and commanded a share as high as 5.8 percent. But, reports Automotive News, on the way to that lofty goal, a few hurdles remain — including one that the brand is on pace to clear this year. Volkswagen's U.S. sales were up 6.1 percent through July, to 215,796, while the industry as a whole is down an estimated 1.6 percent, according to reported results and estimates compiled by the Automotive News Data Center. If its sales trend continues, including August results due this week, Volkswagen will be on track to top its U.S. sales for 2014 — the year before its costly diesel emissions scandal, when it sold 366,970 vehicles in the U.S. In 2018, Volkswagen's U.S. sales totaled 354,064 vehicles. Read more here. 

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