Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive
Industry Interests
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CA BOE Releases New Online Tool to Find Correct Sales and Use Tax Rates in CA

California has a 7.5% base sales and use tax, but application of city, county, and district sales tax results in a confusing maze of tax rates varying by location and changing frequently. In an effort to reduce retailer errors and consumer complaints, the California State Board of Equalization released an online mapping tool, which provides the applicable tax rate upon entry of an address. Tax rates, as well as city and county boundary lines are subject to change.  Therefore, it is recommended retailers use the tool to easily find the current tax rate at a specific location.  [California State Board of Equalization]

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Regulatory
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US Regulator Opens Probe of Fire in Tesla Electric Cars

Tesla Motors, Inc. is being investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for fire risks from the cars’ undercarriages striking objects. [Bloomberg]

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Employment, Industry Interests, Litigation, Recalls, Regulatory
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Managing Automotive

The latest issue of Managing Automotive is out!

Managing Automotive is an email and online publication offering insights and industry interests for the automotive industry.

Rundown of the latest happenings in the automotive industry after the jump.

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Regulatory
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Goal for CFPB Chief: Calming Conflict on Car Loans

CFPB Director Richard Cordray attempts to decrease tensions between the agency and auto dealers after a CFPB letter in March warned the agency detected biases against women and racial minorities when calculating interest rates.  Cordray expressed a willingness on behalf of the agency for more “openness and transparency,” indicating he want to avoid any step that would “throw a wrench in car purchases or create new problems.” NADA has met with the agency to try to find out how, exactly, dealers are being evaluated by the agency, but no clear answers have been given. The CFPB is grappling with how to enforce the Dodd-Frank law, which allows for the agency to supervise auto lenders, but not dealers. [Auto News]

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Regulatory
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Vehicle Finance Industry Commissions Study to Address Fair Lending

The American Financial Services Association is conducting an independent study in response to the CFPB’s accusation that dealership participation in interest rates creates a risk for discrimination against women and minorities. AFSA’s study will look into the effects of the “dealer-assisted financing,” financing model used by dealerships where banks are used as indirect lenders. The new study will weigh the costs and benefits of the current system versus changes like flat fees. While the CFPB is pressuring lenders to restructure the dealer compensation system, many critics of the CFPB argue that new regulation could raise the cost of credit to consumers. The CFPB says the current system allows for dealers to charge legally protected borrowers, such as minorities and women, more than other borrowers. [Read the Press Release]

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Recalls
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RECALL: 8,370 Chrysler Dodge RAM 1500, 2500, and 3500 trucks from 2014

Chrysler Group LLC is recalling certain 2014 RAM 1500, 2500, and 3500 trucks manufactured 7/1/13 through 8/22/13 for warning lights that may not illuminate as designed. [NHTSA]

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Recalls
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RECALL: 36,710 Chrysler Dodge RAM 4500 and 5500 trucks from 2008-2012

Chrysler Group LLC is recalling certain 2008-2012 RAM 4500 and 5500 trucks manufactured 2/20/07 through 12/22/12 for failure of the left tie rod assembly, which may break, causing a loss of steering. [NHTSA]

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Industry Interests
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Dealers pay more, keep employees longer, study says

According to NADA’s 2013 Dealership Workforce Industry Report, dealers experienced fewer employee turnover and hired more woman and young people in 2012. Additionally, dealers paid higher salaries which paralleled increased productivity. F&I managers income rose 8.4% to $128,434, while the average annual compensation for sales managers increased by 6.5% to $122,549. More than 2,240 dealerships were included in the study. [Auto News]

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Industry Interests
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Group 1 Automotive Acquires BMW, MINI and Cadillac Dealerships in Arlington, Texas

Group 1 Automotive announced the acquisition of Moritz BMW/MINI and Moritz Cadillac in Arlington, Texas. The three dealerships are expected to generate $200 million in estimated annual revenues. Group 1 currently owns 144 dealerships, 182 franchises, and 36 collision centers in the U.S., U.K., and Brazil. [Read the News Release]

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Industry Interests
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Nissan’s big drive for global growth

Nissan is positioning itself for major growth with a new plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, which has the capacity to build 175,000 new cars per year. 90% of those new vehicles, among which is the new Sentra sedan, are exported to U.S. and abroad. Once production from the new facility is combined with Nissan’s other two Mexico-based plants, nearly 10% of all the automaker’s vehicles will be built in Mexico. [CNBC]

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