Cody Lusk on CFPB, NAFTA, CAFE, and More

First Up 05/14/18

Cody Lusk on CFPB, NAFTA, CAFE, and More
Today’s CBT newscast features Cody Lusk, President, and CEO of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, who took time to inform viewers on any new developments as well as the state of several affairs and measures moving forward. Cody Lusk. Lusk, along with the team at AIADA, have been working around the clock as there is a lot going on amidst the industry these days. He was also quick to congratulate the NADA team and multiple dealers who have spent endless hours speaking up against the 2013 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) guidelines. On May 8th, due to their hard work, United States House of Representatives’ voted to repeal the measure. Lusk, who has previously said that this will have a positive effect on all dealers in the industry, tells Fitzpatrick, “Every so often congress does the right thing.” Watch the full interview here

Trump Keeps Up Pressure on Automakers to Generate U.S. Jobs
The auto industry is juggling a range of policy priorities in Washington, from tariffs to tailpipe emissions. But one item remains firm atop President Donald Trump’s agenda for the industry: more jobs for Rust Belt states that helped elect him. According to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump made clear at a White House meeting Friday with top auto-industry executives that he wasn’t done prodding them on jobs—including foreign manufacturers. During a televised portion of the meeting, Mr. Trump told the executives he wants to see “manufacturing of millions of more cars within the U.S.—for Michigan, for Ohio, for Pennsylvania.” Mr. Trump lately has been putting more pressure on foreign auto makers. During Friday’s session, he proposed a 20 percent tariff on imported autos, people briefed on the session said. He also raised the prospect of subjecting imported vehicles to Obama-era emissions standards while domestic vehicles would get more lax standards, the people said. Read more here

NAFTA Math May Not Add Up to More U.S. Auto Jobs
Trump administration demands in NAFTA trade negotiations meant to push auto jobs back to the United States may not be enough to spark a shift in where automakers build cars and trucks, reports Reuters. New math to determine what qualifies as vehicle content, what limits apply to allow tariff-free auto imports, and how long companies would have to comply under a new NAFTA agreement will likely not move the needle for Detroit automakers in particular, industry executives and supply chain experts said. Automakers are unlikely to uproot billions of dollars of investments in plants and supply chains. And those that cannot comply with standards for passenger cars could simply pay tariffs of around $800 to $900 per vehicle and buy low-cost parts from Asia to offset the cost, industry experts said. The United States wants 40 percent of the value of light-duty passenger vehicles and 45 percent of a truck’s content to be built at hourly wages of $16 to qualify for tariff-free import from Mexico. Automakers that do not comply with tougher U.S. or North American content and wage rules, if adopted, could face 2.5 percent tariffs on cars or sport utility vehicles shipped to the United States from Mexico. That may be a level of pain they can live with. Read more here

Political Window Opens for High-Grade Fuel Standard
Auto engineers have touted the benefits of high-octane fuel for years. Marry a high-grade gasoline with the latest high- compression engines, and you can capture an easy 3 to 4 percent fuel efficiency gain at modest expense. Politically, it's not so simple, says Automotive News. Automakers don't control the fuel supply. Consumers don't want to pay 15 percent more for the privilege of being eco-friendly. And powerful vested interests including Big Oil and agribusiness are involved. Still, automakers, led by the Detroit 3, and others now sense an opportunity to create a national high-octane standard that satisfies all stakeholders. It would involve piggybacking on legislative efforts to reform controversial mandates for blending biofuels such as ethanol into the nation's fuel supply. The concept has taken on new urgency with the auto industry under pressure to comply with higher fuel economy and emissions standards next decade. One way to help them, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said at a House hearing last month, is to pursue a national standard for high-octane fuel. "I think there is a potential that will serve the auto sector as well as the ag sector and consumers across the country that we could pursue together," he testified. Read more here.  

NHTSA Nominee Could Face Bumpy Confirmation Path
President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) could face a contentious nomination fight if senators who have been critical of the Trump administration’s response to high-profile self-driving crashes and its handling of the Takata air bag recall decide to pick a fight. According to The Detroit News, after leaving the position vacant for the first 15 months of his term, Trump in April nominated Deputy Administrator Heidi King to lead the agency on a full-time basis. King, who came to NHTSA with a private sector background as global director of environmental health and safety risk at GE Capital, is scheduled to appear on Wednesday in her first confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. King has been NHTSA’s interim chief since September, and few lawmakers have taken issue with her decisions specifically. But senators spoiling for a fight over broader auto regulation issue might use her as a punching bag. Read more here

Driving Customer Retention and Brand Loyalty
Join AIADA for our May AutoTalk webinar on Tuesday, May 22, where we'll be joined by Kendall Billman, Senior VP at AutoAlert. He will share tips on how to improve customer retention and brand loyalty, including the following areas:

  • Predict Behavior: Knowing your customers and predicting their behavior is a boon to all departments. 

  • Communicate: The quicker you get an upgrade opportunity to the customer, the better chance you have at winning. Ensuring that your marketing is effective is critical.

  • Keep Your Team Engaged: Making it easy for the right employee to have the right information about the customer, at the right time, is just as important as having that information in the first place. It not only ensures a seamless customer experience, but also provides a better employee experience.

Happening Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Sessions held at 10:00 a.m. EST and 4:00 p.m. EST. Click here to register.

Around the Web

Insects Help Hyundai Heir Design Cars of the Future [Bloomberg]

BMW Prepares for Le Mans Return [MotorAuthority]

Our Favorite Million Dollar Cars [Autoblog]

With Gas Prices Going Up, What's It Cost to Fill Up? [Detroit Free Press]