Hyundai: Don't Like Your Car? Take It Back

First Up 10/11/17

U.S. Chamber Issues Battle Call to Save NAFTA
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is sounding alarm bells about the need to preserve the North American Free Trade Agreement amid reports the Trump administration plans to stake out hard-line positions that could be deal breakers during the fourth round of negotiations scheduled to begin in Washington, D.C., today. According to Automotive News, in a speech before business leaders in Mexico City on Tuesday, Chamber President Thomas Donohue called the U.S. proposals "poison pills" that would force Mexico and Canada to leave the talks and ultimately lead President Donald Trump to try and withdraw from NAFTA. Read more about the Chamber of Commerce’s reaction here

According to Reuters, Donahue’s remarks come as NAFTA talks are anticipated to be impacted by contentious new demands from the U.S. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with President Trump and trade-focused U.S. lawmakers on the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Canadian leader’s visit comes amid increasing acrimony over NAFTA renegotiations, with Trump making fresh threats to terminate the 23-year-old agreement. Read more here

BMW Said to Discuss Chinese Joint Venture with Great Wall 
BMW is looking at forming a venture with Great Wall Motor, reports Automotive News. The automakers are looking at the possibility of opening an assembly plant in the eastern Chinese city of Changshu, a BMW executive said but declined to say what sort of vehicles were under consideration. "I don't know how far along we have gone nailing this deal," or whether the two companies have official central government approval for the JV or not, said the executive. A venture with Great Wall would be BMW's second in China, the world's largest auto market. It has a joint venture with local carmaker Brilliance China Automotive Holdings. Foreign carmakers have to operate in the market with local partners. Great Wall, which in August expressed an interest in the Jeep brand of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is one of China's largest automakers. Read more here

Subscribe to a Porsche for $2,000 Per Month
The Detroit News reports that Porsche will begin an app-based subscription service next month, joining the ranks of automakers experimenting with more flexible ownership models as ride-hailing and smartphones upend traditional auto retailing. The length of the pilot, called Porsche Passport, is open-ended and initially will be limited to just 50 people in Atlanta, according to Klaus Zellmer, president of North America for the Volkswagen AG unit. The first subscription tier starts at $2,000 a month and allows users to summon a 718 Boxster, Cayman S, Macan S, or Cayenne on demand. For $3,000 a month, drivers get access to 22 different Porsche models. Registration, insurance, and maintenance costs are covered, though subscribers still have to pick up the tab for fuel. They can swap for as many different models as desired during the month. Read more about Porsche’s new subscription service here

Hyundai: Don't Like Your Car? Take It Back
Forget a test drive. How about a test buy? According to The Detroit Free Press, Hyundai announced Tuesday that it would allow U.S. shoppers to return their vehicles within three days if they’re not happy with their purchase. Although franchise automotive dealerships can offer similar deals on their own, Hyundai is believed to be the first major automaker to extend the offer across its entire network. The company will also allow buyers to complete most paperwork online and schedule those old-fashioned test drives through the web. The overhauled sales procedure comes as automakers are feeling pressure to remake the dealership experience into a more digital-friendly process. The Korean automaker is hoping to once again ride a wave of momentum by tinkering with the traditional U.S. automotive sales model. In the heat of the Great Recession in 2009, the company famously introduced the first iteration of its Hyundai Assurance program, allowing anyone who lost their job to return their vehicle for free. Read more about Hyundai’s new sales program here

AutoNation Head Unveils Statue with Fort Lauderdale Mayor for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
AutoNation announced Monday that chief executive Mike Jackson recently joined Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Mayor John Seiler to unveil a giant pink ribbon statue on Fort Lauderdale Beach in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to Auto Remarketing, the 20-foot tall statue symbolizes the importance of raising awareness and funding for breast cancer. It will be on display throughout the month of October, according to the company. AutoNation has raised more than $11 million to fund cancer-related charities via its Drive Pink Initiative. Jackson and Seiler first came together to paint a road pink for the inaugural launch of the initiative in 2015. Last year, the company partnered with the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department to provide “Real Heroes Drive Pink’ Shirts” to all first responders. Read more here

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