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For many Americans, the availability of loans with longer terms has created an illusion of affordability. It has helped fuel car purchases that would have been out of reach with three-, five- or even six-year loans.

Wall Street investors snap up these loans, which are bundled into bonds. Dealers now make more money on the loans their customers take than on the cars they sell.

-- Ben Eisen and Adrienne Roberts, WSJ

Shades of the 2005-07 housing bubble? Perhaps in another few years, but this is definitely something to keep an eye on.

Detroit – General Motors is recalling more than 107,000 small SUVs in the U.S. and Canada because a suspension weld can break and cause steering problems. The recall covers the 2015 through 2018 Chevrolet Trax.

-- The Detroit News

Late-model Jeep Wrangler JL SUVs allegedly have welding defects in their frames that could potentially pose a safety risk, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
-- Car and Driver

Jeeps are manufactured in Toledo, Ohio. I believe the Chevrolet Trax is assembled in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

-- Scrib

Telenav shares TNAV, sank 45% on Thursday before being halted in the afternoon.The selloff was sparked after GM announced a deal that would feature Alphabet’s Google apps built directly into its vehicles’ touch-screen displays.
-- Mike Murphy, Marketwatch

This is a tough spot for any independent, like Telenav, in the automotive space. I recently rented a Kia Soul on a trip to North Carolina and it had Apple CarPlay. The functionality of plugging a phone into a car's USB port (or wireless, but who doesn't want a charge?) and having your phone display on a big screen is a killer automotive app - nothing else comes close.

As an aside, I have been mixing Google and Apple maps for several months now and there is absolutely no difference in routing and rerouting, in reaction to traffic jams. Google used to hold a solid advantage over Apple in this area, but Apple has closed that gap.

-- Scrib

Despite a record number of cars hitting the auction block this year, the total value raised came in at a paltry $245 million, representing a 34% decrease from the previous year. Car experts are shaking their heads in disbelief with only 58% of the cars up for auction at Monterey this year actually selling.
-- Cyrus Sanati, Fortune

Automakers BMW and Daimler recently rolled five companies, including ReachNow, into a joint venture. When that was announced, it appeared ReachNow and Car2Go, a competing car-rental startup, would merge. But a new "realignment" means ReachNow will instead end its rental and ride-hailing services and close its Seattle and Portland offices, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
-- Heidi Groover, Seattle Times