Dealers Still Like Lexus, Toyota Most, Survey Finds

First Up 02/10/20

Dealers Still Like Lexus, Toyota Most, Survey Finds

Lexus remained the most-liked brand by dealers in the latest National Automobile Dealers Association Dealer Attitude Survey, while Kia, Hyundai and BMW made their way into the top 10. Automotive News reports that Lexus and its sibling Toyota brand again held the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the summer 2019 survey, followed by Honda and Subaru, which swapped the No. 3 and No. 4 positions from the winter 2019 survey. Porsche remained fifth on the list. Rounding out the top 10 in the NADA survey are Mercedes-Benz, Kia, Volvo, Hyundai and BMW, according to results released last week to Automotive News. The survey rankings were shared with dealers in fall 2019. The survey measures dealer satisfaction with franchise value, brand policies and field staffs. Read more here. 

Trump Auto Tariffs on Hold for 'New Proposal' from EU 

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that a decision concerning tariffs on autos and auto parts imports from the European Union would be delayed to consider some "new proposals" from the administration's EU counterparts, reports The Washington Examiner. “I think that whole discussion is on hold for the moment while we work through a good-faith effort with respect to the possibility of an EU trade deal,” Kudlow said in an appearance on Bloomberg TV. Kudlow did not elaborate on the proposals or give a time frame for when the administration would make a decision. The EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan was in Washington last week to meet U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. No announcements were made, but Kudlow called them "good talks" and said there was a "new energy to the talks." President Trump has periodically threatened to impose 25% tariffs on autos and auto parts imports under Section 232 of the Trade Enforcement Act, which allows tariffs for national security reasons. Read more here. 

Jaguar Announces Pricing, Simplified Lineup as F-Type Makes North American Debut

In keeping with the growing industry trend, Jaguar pulled the wraps off the new, second-generation F-Type online a little while back but didn’t actually give many fans a chance to check it out in person – which is why its appearance last week was one of the highlights of the Chicago Auto Show media preview. According to The Detroit Bureau, not only did the F-Type makes its formal auto show debut but we also learned some significant new details from Jaguar officials, including pricing and the fact that the automaker plans to significantly simplify what could be an extremely confusing assortment of model variants with the original F-Type. “We’ll streamline the number of engines available across the portfolio,” Joe Eberhardt, the CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America, told in an exclusive interview. “And we will have only one trim level for each engine.” Read more here. 

U.S. Closes Antitrust Probe of Carmakers Over Emissions Pact 

The Justice Department has abandoned its antitrust probe of four automakers that sided with California over President Donald Trump in a fight over the future of fuel economy and emissions requirements, according to Bloomberg. The inquiry had targeted Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., BMW AG, and Volkswagen AG over their agreement last year with California regulators to voluntarily meet the state’s targets for fuel economy and tailpipe emissions. The decision was seen as undercutting Trump’s plan to relax the national requirements and was decried by the administration at the time as a “PR stunt.” The Justice Department raised concerns in August that the deal might be in violation of antitrust statutes, and the automakers were sent civil investigative demands late last year. Read more here. 

First Vehicle Designed Not to Have Human Driver is OK'd By U.S.

A self-driving delivery vehicle with no driver's seat, steering wheel, or brake pedal has become the first to be cleared by the federal government to operate without the presence of a human, reports The Detroit News. Nuro Inc., a robotics company based in Mountain View, Calif., has been given permission to put up to 5,000 of its autonomous R2 electric vehicles on the road over a two-year period. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's green-lighting of the company's petition is a milestone in the effort to win approval to put completely self-driving cars on the road en masse. "As the first company to be granted approval for a self-driving vehicle exemption, it’s an important moment for Nuro and a milestone for the industry," Nuro co-founder Dave Ferguson wrote in a blog post Thursday. "This decision provides regulatory certainty for Nuro to operate our second-generation self-driving vehicle, built to carry packages instead of people." Read more here. 

Webinar Tomorrow: Tax Reform Reversal or Status Quo? 

Join AutoTalk for an early February program tomorrow, Tuesday, February 11th at 2:00 p.m. ET and listen in as experts from Moss Adams help you navigate planning for the uncertainty and how to maximize today's tax environment.

They will also discuss:

  • Areas That Are Highly Susceptible To Reversal In A New Administration 

  • How Can I Hedge Against Future Changes? 

  • What Steps Can I Take Now To Ensure I Am Maximizing The Current Tax Environment?

To register, click here.

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Ferdinand Porsche's First Hybrid Could Have Revolutionized the car [Autoblog]