Penske Sets Next Market for Used-Only Stores

First Up 02/09/18

Mexico Says NAFTA Rules of Origin for Autos Will Change
Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Thursday that the country had to be realistic about the rules of origin for automobiles under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying that the current level will change. Reuters reports that under NAFTA, at least 62.5 percent of the net cost of a passenger car or light truck must originate in the United States, Canada or Mexico to avoid tariffs. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration wants to hike this to 85 percent. “You have to be very prudent on what the level is because you can shoot yourself in the foot,” Guajardo said on local television. “Let’s put a realistic integration figure that everyone agrees on, its not going to be the current 62.5 percent ... but it also can’t be 85.” Read more here

Penske Sets Next Market for Used-Only Stores
Penske Automotive Group Inc. plans to expand its CarSense used-only operation by building and opening stores in three U.S. markets within 12 to 18 months, reports Automotive News. The nation's second-largest car dealership group owns land in the Phoenix area where it intends to spend $3 million to $4 million to build a CarSense store, Chairman Roger Penske said Thursday during a conference call with analysts and reporters. "We have a [predelivery and inspection] center there that we can utilize," Penske said. Two other potential sites are on the company's radar. The retailer declined to give specifics, but Penske referred to New Jersey and Pennsylvania during the call. Penske said the future CarSense stores will need to be on sites of at least 10 to 15 acres to stock adequate inventory. The timing for the stores' construction "is dependent on local zoning ordinances and approvals," Tony Pordon, executive vice president of investor relations and corporate development, wrote in an email to Automotive News. "We would expect to have new locations open within the next 12 to 18 months." Read more here

VW Introduces Artful Arteon Sedan 
The Volkswagen Arteon debuted at the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday and the all-new 2019 sports sedan lives up to its name as the German brand’s artfully crafted design halo, reports The Detroit News. Replacing the CC sedan that limped to just 1,355 sales last year after peak sales of nearly 30,000 units in 2011, the Arteon hopes to improve on the CC’s record with more of everything: more-dramatic styling, more legroom, more-nimble handling. The Arteon has a hatchback trunk that has become all the rage in upscale sedans from the Audi A7 to the Kia Stinger and Buick Regal Sportback. Like the Stinger, VW hopes Arteon will be a mainstream, upscale alternative to pricier premium models from Acura and Audi. VW CEO of North America Hinrich Woebcken calls it a “brand shaper.” From its wide grille and LED headlights to its clamshell hood and long wheelbase, the athletic Arteon brings visual drama to a conservatively styled lineup of Jetta and Passat sedans. Read more about the Arteon here

Toyota Unveils New Off-Road Trucks at the Chicago Auto Show
Even though a pure off-road vehicle like the FJ Cruiser is out of its lineup, Toyota is making a play for those who love digging into the dirt with a trio of trucks, reports USA Today. At the Chicago Auto Show, it took the wraps off the trail-tough versions of the Tundra, 4Runner, and Tacoma. The three come with 2.5-inch TRD Pro-exclusive Fox Internal Bypass shocks, but each are specifically tuned to suit the individuality of each by Toyota Racing Development engineers. There's also other rugged off-road equipment. The Tacoma TRD Pro, for instance, has an updated front skid plate to prevent rocks, stumps or other obstacles from damaging the truck's underside. There's a fancy exhaust pipe with a black chrome tip in back. The trucks is also equipped with foglights, projector-style headlights and TRD Pro badging. For more, click here

Drowsy Driving May be the Cause of 1 Out of Every 10 Auto Crashes
A new study shows drowsy driving, where those behind the wheel are too tired to safely operate a vehicle, is much more widespread than previously estimated. In fact, reports CNBC, researchers suspect tired drivers are responsible for roughly 1 out of every 10 crashes. "Drowsy driving is a bigger traffic safety issue than federal estimates show," said David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "Drivers who don't get enough sleep are putting everyone on the road at risk." AAA reached that conclusion after researchers monitored the driving habits of more than 3,500 people for several months. Using dashboard cameras and other equipment, the researchers tracked drivers around the United States between October 2010 and December 2013. Those 3,500 drivers were involved in more than 700 crashes. Drowsiness was determined to be a factor in up to 9.5 percent of those accidents. In addition, more than 10 percent of the accidents that resulted in property damage, airbag deployment or injury involved tired drivers. For more on drowsy driving, click here

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Cars Range From Exotic to Traditional at Baltimore Auto Show [The Baltimore Sun]

Volvo Sets Another Earnings Record [Autoblog]

4 Standout Tech Features of the Subaru Impreza 2.0i Sport [Forbes]

Nissan Shows Its 370Z Sports Car Snowmobile [USA Today]