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Technology Impact and 2018 Economic and Light Vehicle Forecasts to Be a Few of the Featured Topics at SAA Automotive Outlook Conference

The Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA) will hold its 31st Annual Automotive Industry Outlook Conference on January 14, 2018 at the GEM Theatre in Detroit. 

SAA has partnered with the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) to offer all Outlook attendees exclusive and complimentary admission to the popular Automobili-D event happening at Cobo Center after the Outlook Conference.

The SAA has put together a strong panel of economists and analysts who will provide expert insight on what to expect in 2018 and beyond. Panelists include:

  • Emily Kolinski Morris, Chief Economist, Ford Motor Company: Morris will focus on the state of the overall economy and review 2017 and what she considers one of the major surprises of the year.
  • Kevin Riddell, Senior Manager, LMC Automotive: Riddell will examine the outlook for Electrification; Is it hype, substance or somewhere in-between?
  • Mark Fulthorpe, Director, LV Production Forecast, IHS Markit: Fulthorpe will cover global production trends with a look at OEM and platform strategy in response to the challenges of the rapidly changing environment.
  • James Albertine, Senior Analyst-Automotive, Consumer Edge Research, LLC: Albertine will provide an outlook for U.S. vehicle demand, auto credit, vehicle life cycles and the future of autonomous driving.

The keynote speaker will be Chris Thomas, Partner and Founder of Fontinalis.  Thomas is an engaging speaker who will address emerging automotive technologies and their impact on the industry.

The Conference, which is sponsored by Ducker Worldwide, begins with a networking brunch at 10:45 a.m. with speakers beginning at 11:45 a.m.  Shuttles to Automobili-D at Cobo Center will depart the Gem Theater at 2:45 p.m.  Attendees will also receive a special pass that provides them access to the NAIAS show floor on Wednesday, Jan.17, 2018.

For more details on the Outlook Conference and to register, go to


Car Sales End a 7-Year Upswing, With More Challenges Ahead

Source: New York Times

The auto industry’s long-running sales party has come to an end. After seven straight years of growth in domestic new-vehicle sales, manufacturers on Wednesday reported a decline of about 1.8 percent in 2017, to 17.2 million cars and light trucks.  Further dampening the mood is the consensus that 2018 will bring an even larger drop., an auto-information website, predicts that just 16.8 million light vehicles will be sold this year.

Click here for the rest of the article.


Nobody in the Auto Industry is Disappointed with 2017 US Sales

Source: Business Insider

On Wednesday, all major automakers selling vehicles in the US reported December and full-year sales.  The record years of 2015 and 2016, with well over 17 million in total sales, weren't met or surpassed. The year came in at just over 17 million (17.2, according to Kelley Blue Book), which while a year-over-year decline for the first time since the financial crisis was nonetheless a bit of a welcome surprise after a sluggish spring and summer when it looked as if 17 million were out of reach.

Click here for the rest of the article.


The Auto Industry Saw Some Big Changes in 2017 — But Electric Cars and Autonomous Vehicles Were Just Hype

Source: Business Insider

Auto industry executives have been suffering fits of panic and excitement over big changes to the business. In 2017, their preoccupation with disruption came to a head, as Tesla surpassed Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in market cap and at times challenged General Motors.  It was a great year in many ways, but also a rough one. So how much of the disruption was meaningful — and how much of it was much ado about nothing?

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Easing Regulations Might Boost Auto Industry

Source: Detroit News

For a brief period after World War II, the United States produced roughly 74 percent of global GDP and more than 50 percent of the world’s passenger and commercial motor vehicles. The U.S. was the undisputed global leader in most areas of commerce with a generally market-based, pro-business environment and competitors in Europe and Asia whose factories and infrastructure were greatly damaged or destroyed by the fact that the bulk of major battles during WWII were fought in Europe and Asia.

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Surging Trucks Emerge as Bright Spot in Slowing U.S. Auto Market

Source: Cleveland Business

Carmakers capped their first year of shrinking U.S. sales since the recession on a high note, with surging truck demand buoying General Motors Co. and carrying Ford Motor Co. to a surprise gain. Ford's light vehicle deliveries rose 1.3% last month as its F-Series pickup line had its best year since 2005. GM reported a less dramatic monthly drop than analysts expected, as sales of the Chevrolet Silverado climbed 25%.

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What 2018 Holds in Store for the Global Auto Industry


2018 will likely see a notable shift in the global auto industry. While vehicles inevitably move towards greater electrification, there might also be an even bigger revolution on the way, not in terms of what vehicles we buy, but how we buy them.

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'Everything is in Play': What Happens to Canadian Auto Industry if NAFTA Fails

Source: Financial Post

The General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ont., has been gearing up over the past several months to start producing GMC Sierras and Chevrolet Silverados this year. The $400-million investment will help it meet rising truck demand across North America, the automaker said.  But while the plant is being repurposed to pump new trucks off the line, contentious negotiations around the North American Free Trade Agreement — which could dramatically impact the auto industry — have continued. Indeed, the very future of GM’s truck production in Oshawa may be in question if Canada and Mexico can’t prevent the United States from sprinting out the exit it appears to be eagerly eyeing.

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