AIADA Supports America's Right to Buy Safe SUVs

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 -- In response to today's Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA), representing over 10,000 international nameplate dealers, will submit testimony stating that as questions surface regarding SUVs and their safety, AIADA supports the ability of the of the consumer to choose the vehicles that best meet their transportation and lifestyle needs.

  In outlining their position, AIADA stated:
  -- Consumers have the right to choose the vehicle that best suits their
     transportation, financial, and lifestyle needs. As safety technologies
     develop, including airbag protection, anti-rolling devices, and warning
     indicators, the consumer should be allowed a full range of choices to
     best fit their automobile needs. The government should not be in the
     business of deciding which technology to offer consumers or what
     consumers might want.   Consumers should choose the automobile that is
     right for them based on their transportation and fiscal needs.

  -- Vehicle safety information is available for all consumers to make their
     purchase based on solid data.  Consumer safety organizations like the
     Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data
     Institute, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety
     Administration (NHTSA) provide research and communications to the
     public so consumers can make informed decisions.  These organizations,
     which work closely with the manufacturers, are dedicated to reducing
     highway crash deaths, injuries, and losses.

  -- Working together, automobile manufacturers and NHTSA set safety
     standards. NHTSA is responsible for reducing deaths, injuries and
     economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. By working with
     NHTSA, automobile manufacturers help ensure that all automobiles comply
     with the highest safety performance standards possible.  SUVs have the
     same advanced technology that is available on passenger cars.

  -- Automobile manufacturers have and continue to improve the safety system
     of their vehicles. There are many pieces of safety equipment in the
     cars we sell - equipment that has evolved over the years and continues
     to change as technology improves.  First the seat belt, which was
     originally designed as a lap belt and changed to a shoulder strap, then
     the airbag which now deploys in side impact as well as front collision
     accidents, manufacturers continue to improve devices designed to
     provide a safe vehicle for consumers. Consumers demand safe vehicles,
     and manufacturers continue to improve their technology to meet these
     demands. Life-saving devices continue to be invented - by the
     manufacturer.

"AIADA believes that working together, automobile manufacturers and NHTSA can effectively set safety standards," said Tim Smith, 2003 Chairman in expanding on AIADA's position, "We support the automakers and the innovations that they have and continue to develop to improve the safety system of their vehicles."

About AIADA

AIADA is the lobbying and communications force in Washington, D.C. for the 10,000 American automobile dealerships that sell and service international nameplate brands Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes, MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Rolls Royce, Saab, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. These retailers have a positive economic impact both nationally and in the local communities they serve, providing nearly 433,000 American jobs.

The competitive market fueled by the international automobile has produced safer, more fuel-efficient vehicles with greater quality, value and a multitude of features that benefit the American consumer. As a result, U.S. consumers enjoy the freedom to choose from among a wide array of vehicles to meet their transportation needs. Visit AIADA online at www.aiada.org.

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