Attack of the Killer Audis

First Up 07/06/18

Beltway Talk Podcast: Social Media and Dealer Advocacy with Toyota's Becca Steele
On the latest episode of AIADA’s Beltway Talk podcast, Toyota’s digital advocacy strategist for government affairs, Becca Steele, drops into the AIADA studios to discuss everything from her background on Capitol Hill to the best ways to make your legislators sit up and take notice of your messages on social media. This episode will help dealers understand why social media matters when communicating with their members of Congress, and how to make the best use of this advocacy tool. Listen in for all the dos and don’ts of sharing your story online by clicking here. 

Attack of the Killer Audis
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is struggling to find a legal national-security rationale to slap 20 percent tariffs on automotive imports, but we’re told that President Trump has ordered him to find one anyway. There isn’t one, writes The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board. Mr. Trump in May directed the Commerce Department to investigate whether foreign cars and automotive parts imperil national security under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. GM opposes Mr. Trump’s proposal for a 20 percent tariff and explained in a public comment to Commerce last week that raising prices to cover the higher cost of imported auto parts would reduce sales. American auto-manufacturing has never been more competitive, and the overwhelming evidence is that the tariffs would hurt the U.S. auto industry and economy. Consumers would also have to pay about $5,000 to $6,000 more for a car, which would offset some benefits from tax reform and slow vehicle sales. A modest decline in auto sales during the first quarter of this year clipped 0.34 percent off U.S. GDP growth. Read more of The Wall Street Journal's editorial here. 

U.S., China Dig in Over Trade as Tariffs Take Hold
President Donald Trump fired the biggest shot yet in the global trade war by imposing tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports, including auto parts, reports Automotive News. The duties on Chinese goods went forward just after midnight Friday in Washington. Another $16 billion of goods could follow in two weeks, Trump said Thursday aboard Air Force One en route to Montana, before suggesting the final total could eventually reach $550 billion, a figure that exceeds all of China's annual goods exported to the U.S. China, in retaliation, hiked tariffs on $34 billion in American goods, including U.S. light-vehicle imports, to 40 percent from 15 percent beginning Friday. The duties will have a disproportionate impact on major U.S. vehicle exporters such as Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz, BMW AG, Ford Motor Co., and Tesla Inc. China imports nearly 270,000 U.S.-made light vehicles annually, worth $11 billion. In comparison, the list of cars and light trucks made in China and shipped to the U.S. is small and includes the Buick Envision compact crossover and Volvo's S60 sedan. Read more here.

One of Hyundai's Top CPO Dealers Also Busy with OEM's Charitable Endeavors
June was a busy month for Scott Fink, the president and chief executive officer of Hyundai of New Port Richey — one of Hyundai’s top-selling certified pre-owned dealers and Auto Remarketing’s 2014 CPO Dealer of the Year. According to Auto Remarketing, not only is Fink ensuring that certified metal continues to roll over the curb, but he is also chairman of the board of directors for Hyundai Hope On Wheels, the automaker’s philanthropic arm that gave out seven of its 21 planned $100,000 Hyundai Impact Awards. The honors and funds are given to pediatric oncology departments at select children’s hospitals nationwide. “For 20 years, Hyundai and its dealers have dedicated their mission to saving lives and creating hope through Hyundai Hope On Wheels. We are proud of the research work that has been done and the lives that have been saved by the dedicated research community,” said Fink, whose store turned 1,072 certified Hyundai vehicles last year to rank second nationally, according to sales data shared by the automaker. Read more here. 

Volvo Plans Car Sharing in 2019
Volvo Cars is the latest automaker to hop on the car-sharing bandwagon, as the industry searches for new business models. According to Automotive News, Volvo will provide on-demand access to cars through a new mobility brand it calls "M." The new service will be available in the U.S. in spring 2019. The initiative is separate from a vehicle subscription program Volvo launched this spring in the U.S., called Care by Volvo. M is a new brand from Volvo Car Mobility, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sweden's Volvo Car Group. Sunfleet, Volvo's car-sharing service in Sweden, will be integrated into M in 2019. Most Volvo models will be available to M users, a Volvo spokeswoman said. "We are currently conducting extensive testing of M, which includes assessing the pricing model and which vehicles M will offer," she said. Read more here. 

Webinar: Tax Reform – Dealer and Owner Implications
Join AIADA’sJuly AutoTalk webinar on Tuesday, July 17th as Amy Stillwell and Lewis Fisher, Automotive and Dealer Services division of Moss Adams discuss tax reform and what it could mean for your dealership.

They’ll cover: 
•    Important steps to take now
•    Planning for the future
•    What's gained/ What's lost

Sessions will be held at 10:00 a.m. EDT and 4:00 p.m. EDT. To register, click here.

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