FTC Extends Safeguards Rule Deadline by Six Months

First Up 11/16/22

FTC Extends Safeguards Rule Deadline by Six Months

Auto dealerships have another six months to beef up their consumer information security following a Federal Trade Commission Safeguards Rule extension announced Tuesday. The last-minute reprieve moves the date for dealerships and other financial institutions to comply with the revamped Safeguards Rule, from Dec. 9, 2022, to June 9, 2023. The Safeguards Rule is part of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act regulating business customer information practices. Automotive News reports FTC commissioners voted 4-0 in favor of the extension. FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson on Monday issued a separate statement noting that she still opposes the FTC's 2021 decision to change the rule in the first place. The agency cited reports — including from the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy — of a lack of qualified personnel to oversee the changes and businesses having difficulty sourcing necessary technology. Click here for the full story.

Foreign Brands Dominate Consumer Reports' Reliability Rankings

Toyota, Lexus and BMW top Consumer Reports' survey of brand reliability for 2022, nudging Mazda from the podium after its No. 2 finish last year. BMW climbed 10 spots to place third in the survey, released Tuesday. Automotive News reports the brand's 3 and 4 series models improved to "above average" rankings, while the X3, X5, X7 and 5 series are ranked "average."  For the first time, Mercedes-Benz finished in last place in the Consumer Reports rankings, falling five spots. Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, said the wide gap between the two leading German luxury brands can be attributed to how they implement new and advanced technology. "The short answer of it really has to do with BMW and Mercedes-Benz's current approach to technology," he said. BMW has generally scaled back the amount of technology it adopts in the cockpit, while Mercedes-Benz has embraced more technology to separate itself from its rivals, Fisher said. More technology means more bugs and glitches, such as frozen or blank screens — leading to less reliability. Click here for the full story.

A Breakdown of U.S. Auto Industry Performance in October with Charlie Chesbrough

New-vehicle sales volume has been stuck around the 1.1 million mark for several months. On CBT News’ Inside Automotive, Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist, and senior director of industry automotive of Cox Automotive, shares his take on the U.S auto industry fared in October of 2022. “The October sales were a bit of a pleasant surprise, they held up really well, and we had one of the largest selling paces that we have had since the beginning of the year, at a 14.9 million pace,” Chesbrough reports. The volume, however, didn’t change as much but, what’s interesting is the normal downtick stayed up after the Labor Day sales and gearing toward the big end-of-the-year holiday sales. The fared inventory situation has significantly improved, and the chip shortage will continue to impact production even into 2023. With more fleet activity, it suggests inventory is changing on the ground. On the other hand, the predictions, and expectations Chesbrough intends to see within the last two months of the year are supply disruptions improving and manufacturers still pointing the finger at COVID-19 and chip shortages for holding back their business. Click here for the full story.

Audi Rebrands Its Subscription Service As “Audi On Demand,” Adds Electric Models

Audi has announced that its U.S. subscription service, Silvercar by Audi, will be rebranded as “Audi on demand.” The newly named service offers additional services, vehicles, and more. The app-based rental service is available at participating Audi dealerships throughout the United States and offers customers more ways to interact with the brand’s vehicles. It offers rentals with flexible terms that can be as short as a day or last many months. Carscoops reports Audi is now also offering a rental option that can last up to one year, in some cases, as part of this rebranding effort. In addition, the service will now offer fully electric vehicles, like the Audi e-tron Sportback. “Consumer behaviors are changing, and Audi is listening,” said Sara Whiffen, VP of Strategy, Mobility & Retail Operations at Audi of America. “Audi on demand allows us to meet the growing need for short-term and long-term mobility experiences—local rental options, longer test drives, flexible short-term transportation, and lease bridges—addressing consumer demands and expectations in today’s rapidly changing travel environment.” Click here for the full story.

Volkswagen Has Delivered Half a Million Electric Vehicles Across the World

Volkswagen is celebrating a massive milestone, announcing that it has officially delivered 500,000 ID. models across the globe. "Delivery of half a million ID.s confirms that the Volkswagen models are being well-received by our customers - all over the world, explains VW's Imelda Labbe, member of the Board of Management for Marketing, Sales and After-Sales at Volkswagen Passenger Cars. "Our focus is unchanged — we want to make Volkswagen the most desirable brand for sustainable mobility." Earlier this year, VW executives commented that the e-mobility side of the busines would soon be as profitable as ICE-powered vehicles. If the company wants to maintain this growth, it must introduce more electric models, particularly in the USA, where the ID.4 remains the sole option. Carbuzz reports ten new electric models are expected to arrive by 2026. While we don't expect the entry-level Volkswagen ID to hit our shores, both the ID.Buzz and the elegant ID. Aero are expected to hit the American market in the coming years. Click here for the full story.

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