Thousands of auto-industry professionals attended the NADA Convention and Expo in New Orleans last week. Here is all the key news you need to catch up on.
Economist forecasts continued growth good for vehicle sales
NADA chief economist Steven Szakaly predicted the strong economic growth of the past two years was set to continue, forecasting the sale of 17.1 million new vehicles in the U.S. in 2017.
“That’s a slight decline of about 350,000 units, but it is still a very, very strong year,” he said.
Szakaly said he took into consideration positive GDP growth, an excellent employment rate, rising consumer confidence, positive equity markets, and stable oil prices. But he also said there was the potential for an alternative — and even better — scenario.
“A lot has changed, particularly in Washington, D.C. Let’s say that (President) Trump passes all of his tax cuts and all of his infrastructure spending. That is going to be a big boost to economic growth and economic activity.”
What happened when Ford met Trump?
Ford Motor Company president and chief executive Jeff Carlson told NADA crowds that in their meeting with President Trump early last week, Detroit automakers made the case for “a single, nationwide fuel-economy standard”.
A single standard would eliminate the rules under the California Air Resources Board — followed in 11 states and Washington D.C. — requiring carmakers to sell a particular percentage of zero-emission (or battery/electric) vehicles.
The President reportedly asked the auto executives to provide him with a list of the regulations they felt were good and bad for the industry.
FCA has big plans for expansion
Fiat Chrysler is adding up to 400 new dealerships in the U.S., according to reports (although an FCA spokesman declined to comment).
Dealers get help to showcase their benefits
NADA chairman Mark Scarpelli unveiled a new initiative designed to help local dealerships showcase all the benefits they bring to their millions of customers, the 1.1 million dealerships employees in the U.S., and to countless communities across the nation.
The initiative — called MyDealership.org — utilizes videos, social media platforms and public service announcements to communicate the significant benefits of a strong and vibrant franchised dealership network.
Federal excise tax on heavy duty trucks hurts small business
American Truck Dealers chairman Steve Parker called on the nation’s commercial truck dealers to urge Congress to explore reforming or possibly repealing the 12 percent federal excise tax on the retail sale of trucks, trailers and other commercial truck products.
“The FET was originally imposed to help finance the cost of World War I,” Parker told the convention. “But since 1955, the tax rate on our products has increased by 300 percent — ballooning from three percent to 12 percent.”
Keep up-to-date with NADA news on their website.