June Used-Car Retail Sales Show Improvement
In each of the four full weeks of June, used-car sales at franchised dealerships exceeded pre-virus forecasts by double-digit percentages, according to J.D. Power’s Used Vehicle Impact Report released Tuesday. For the week ending Sunday (June 28), used sales for franchised dealers were 12% stronger than what pre-pandemic forecasts called for. This performance followed gains of 17% for the week ending June 21, 23% the week ending June 14 and 14% the week ending June 7.
Source: Auto Remarketing
House Agrees to Extend Small Business Rescue Program
The House Wednesday passed a bill that would revive the $670 billion small business aid program that shut down just hours earlier, leaving only President Donald Trump’s signature to restart the flow of emergency funds. The lawmakers agreed to advance the bill by unanimous consent after the Senate passed it in a surprise move Tuesday night. House Democrats were then left scrambling to decide whether to attach certain conditions — such as transparency from the White House about how relief aid has been spent — before lawmakers left town Wednesday evening. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team ultimately agreed to a “clean” extension of the program. Trump is expected to sign the bill.
More Good Signs for Auto Auction Sales Volume
The first half of 2020 has been mired with challenges in the wholesale car market, but one particularly positive trend has emerged at the tail end of the of second quarter. Auction sales volume have made a strong comeback and are now at or above year-ago figures, according to industry analyses. In its weekly COVID-19 Market Update released Tuesday, Black Book said: “Despite most auctions continuing to operate under an all-digital platform, sales volume has rebounded to a level consistent with, and on some days higher, than this time last year.
Source: Auto Remarketing
New Trade Agreement Means Steep Learning Curve for Auto Industry
The new agreement, one of the biggest milestones of Donald Trump's presidency, took effect Wednesday. The deal has had its critics, particularly those who worried that all the uncertainty surrounding NAFTA was hurting the auto industry, but many analysts said NAFTA was overdue for an update. There has also, however, been uncertainty as the date of implementation has approached for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Some of the specifics involving, for instance, labor value content rules, were just finalized and released in recent days.
Source: Detroit Free Press
Ford to End Production of the Lincoln Continental at End of 2020
Ford Motor Co. confirmed Wednesday it will permanently end production of the Lincoln Continental built at the Blue Oval's Flat Rock Assembly Plant. The move is just the latest in the Dearborn automaker's long-term strategy of ditching sedans and compact cars in favor of a wider array of profit-rich trucks and SUVs that U.S. customers have come to prefer. It also brings Ford a step closer to fulfilling the strategy it announced in 2018 of no longer producing traditional cars, except for such select models as the Mustang and its multiple variants.
Source: The Detroit News
House Sends Massive Infrastructure Bill to the Senate, Where It Has No Path Forward
The House Wednesday passed a climate-friendly infrastructure bill with $1.5 trillion for everything from roads to broadband that has little chance of being signed into law as written, but is destined to play a starring role in rhetoric and talking points for both parties in the run-up to the presidential election. The core of the bill — a $494 billion reauthorization of surface transportation programs like roads and bridges — poured drastically more money than usual into Democratic priorities such as trains, transit and electric vehicle charging infrastructure and de-emphasized building new roads. The bill, which passed 233-188, is massive in its scope, including money for such varied Democratic priorities as schools, hospitals, housing, broadband, drinking water, storm water, the energy grid and vehicle safety.