FirstUp: Daily News

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Today’s FirstUp

November 26, 2014

Kull’s Commentary: Safe and Sound

AIADA Chairman Larry Kull writes that many years ago, when he and his wife were new parents, he was fanatical about safety. He locked, fenced, and gated every perceived threat in our house. As a grandfather, he finds himself revisiting those days of safety-obsession, and discovering that the very best safety advancements have taken place in the cars that carry his grandkids around town. Technologies he once couldn’t imagine, like electronic stability control, lane departure warnings, and rear view cameras, are becoming standard. As a dealer, Kull says he is proud to put families in incredibly safe vehicles, and is grateful that if anything should go wrong, dealerships will be equipped to fix the problem. Situations like the current airbag recall serve as a reminder of just how important an active and engaged dealer body is to road safety. Without dealers to execute recalls, service vehicles, and keep drivers informed, our roads would simply not be as safe. This Thanksgiving Kull says vehicle safety is the best it’s ever been, and for that, he is truly thankful. For more from Larry Kull on vehicle safety, click here.

Best Black Friday New-Car Deals
Most brands are launching their “season of savings” promotions this week, while others are going all in with generous sales incentives especially targeted for Black Friday and the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend. Early holiday campaigns are expected to help November new-car sales outpace last year’s figures for the same period by 1.6 percent according to Edmunds.com. “Car sales will remain elevated in November in large part because of Black Friday,” says Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell. “In recent years both car shoppers and car dealers have turned toward Black Friday as an opportunity to dive into the holiday shopping season. This is a good example of how the auto industry continues to evolve to become more like the rest of the retail market.” Forbes is highlighting 15 of the richest sales incentives for Black Friday and the Thanksgiving weekend presented in the accompanying slide show, based on information provided by Cars.com, TrueCar, Inc., and Edmunds.com. These include low-payment lease deals, cut-rate financing and direct-to-consumer cash rebates on an assortment of truly worthy rides like the Acura TLX, BMW 3 Series, Jeep Cherokee, Ram 1500, and Subaru Outback, among others. Check out a slideshow of the best Black Friday new-car deals here. Read more by clicking here.

Mazda Recalls Cars to Fix Tire Pressure Monitors
Mazda is recalling nearly 100,000 midsize cars in the U.S. to fix a problem with the tire pressure monitoring system. According to The Detroit Free Press, the recall affects certain Mazda6 cars from the 2014 and 2015 model years. The company says in documents posted Tuesday by U.S. safety regulators that if the air pressure drops on all four tires at the same time, the monitoring system may not warn drivers of the problem. Low air pressure can cause a sudden tire failure. Mazda says the problem hasn't caused any crashes or injuries. The recall affects only the U.S. and its territories. Dealers will update the tire pressure monitoring software at no cost to owners. Mazda will notify owners by letter. The recall is expected to start on Dec. 5. For coverage of Mazda’s recall to fix tire pressure monitors, click here.

Takata Airbag Rupture in Japan Signals More Automaker Recalls
Japan's transportation ministry said a Takata Corp. airbag ruptured in a model not covered by existing recalls, suggesting automakers may have to expand safety campaigns to replace the devices linked to five deaths. According to Automotive News, the airbag from a 2003 car ruptured during testing of devices from scrapped vehicles in Gifu prefecture, Masato Sahashi, a ministry official, told reporters today at a briefing in Tokyo. The Nov. 6 incident may result in a recall once the reason for the malfunction is determined, Sahashi said, declining to name the automaker or model. Japanese regulators are stepping up pressure on Takata over its airbags, which have been linked to at least four deaths in the U.S. and a fatal accident in Malaysia. The Takata airbag was the seventh to have ruptured during tests in Japan, where 700,000 of the devices were evaluated in 2012 and 2013, Sahashi said. The previous six were in cars included in recalls, he said. The ministry said yesterday it was forming a group to oversee recalls of vehicles equipped with the devices, and that it was aware of four airbag ruptures in vehicles that were in use. For the latest on Takata’s airbag issues, click here.

World Vehicle Sales Inch Up in October
According to WardsAuto, global vehicle sales climbed just 1.1 percent in October, with 7.1 million units delivered. Solid gains posted in North America and Europe were able to offset sharp declines witnessed in South America and flat sales in the Asia-Pacific region. North American deliveries accounted for 22.1 percent of the worldwide market in the month, with 1.5 million vehicles sold. This was up 6.8 percent over like-2013, marking the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year increases. Strong sales were recorded in every North American country in October, with Mexico posting the largest growth, a 13.3 percent jump, over October 2013. Sales in the U.S. rose 6.3 percent in the month, while deliveries in Canada climbed 6.7 percent on the lowest monthly volume since February. Sales in Europe climbed as well, up 3.3 percent to 1.6 million units. This was the second straight month of year-over-year growth for the region, and the largest increase since March’s 7.1 percent uptick. The Asia-Pacific region recorded flat sales growth in October with 3.3 million deliveries, accounting for 47.5 percent of global sales. Read more about November’s global vehicle sales here.

Facing Forward: Join AIADA in San Francisco for the 45th Annual Meeting & Luncheon
Join fellow international nameplate dealers and industry leaders on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco for AIADA's 45th Annual Meeting and Luncheon. Every year, international nameplate dealers gather to show support for AIADA's mission in Washington, D.C., meet with fellow dealers, and learn about the challenges facing auto retailers in the coming year. They celebrate the positive impact our manufacturers and businesses have on the American economy and strategize ways to grow, evolve, and maintain forward momentum within this ever changing industry. The 45th Annual Meeting and Luncheon will feature keynote remarks by Audi of America President Scott Keogh, the passing of the chairman's gavel from 2014 Chairman Larry Kull of New Jersey to 2015 Chairman Bradley Hoffman of Connecticut, and the presentation of the 2015 David F. Mungenast, Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award. Don't miss your chance to gather with the dealer leaders of today and tomorrow. Register online at AIADA.org/events or by calling 1-800-GO-AIADA.

Around the Web

  • Dealer Offers Free Cars if it Snows on Christmas [CNBC]
  • Bentley to Call Its Upcoming Crossover Bentayga? [Autoblog]
  • Mercedes-Benz Autonomous Car Concept Spy Shots [MotorAuthority]
  • A Sneak Peek at 2015's Smartest Smart Cars [Gizmodo]
 

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