Welcome to the Starting Grid, where we start your day off right with the biggest news in the auto industry, such as how last night’s Fiscal Cliff agreement will affect the U.S. automotive industry and much more on this Wednesday morning.
Pole Position: Fiscal Cliff Gives Auto Companies A Stock Boost
Spend a little time reading about the Fiscal Cliff negotiation fiasco, and you could fall into depression real quick. One positive that came out of it, however, is that expectations for a deal pushed automaker stocks to end 2012 on a positive note. Lower taxes on the middle class mean higher car sales in 2013, and while the middle class actually may have taken a hit in the deal, stocks for companies like Ford, GM and Toyota sure didn’t.
Front Row: Ford Fusion Energi rated at 108 MPG
Ford has won a major marketing victory, as their new Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid has been EPA certified at 100 combined eMPG. Will the car remain true to that figure when it gets into journalist hands? Ford currently finds itself in trouble with Consumer Reports and others over its economy claims for the C-Max, but we’ll get into that later today.
More: New York Times.
Third Position: Hyundai Tempers 2013 Sales Expectations
Hyundai and Kia Chairman Chung Mong Koo told investors to prepare for about 4.1% sales growth in 2013, the slowest those companies have seen since 2006. That’s to be expected, to an extent, after their meteoric rise over the past decade.
Fourth Position: Avis Buys Zipcar for $500 million
The rental car company has acquired the quirky little ride-sharing organization that found a home on college campuses. Tim Worstall of Forbes says that the true value of the deal may be in sharing the two sizeable fleets to cut down on costs.
Safety Car: Lotus established 61 years ago today
Colin Chapman began his iconic Lotus brand in the garage of a pub on January 1, 1952. Thank you, Sir Colin.
Video of the Day: evo Drives the Aston Martin One-77
From a technical explanation of the added engine displacement to a hilarious demonstration of storage capacity, Harry Metcalfe from evo Magazine guides us on a thorough walkthrough in one of the most exclusive cars in the world – and that’s to say nothing of the simply stunning visuals and breathtaking sound.