Afternoon Coffee: Groups Urge GM to Add Airbags to Cars in Mexico, Report Shows Holiday Spending Grew 7.9%

Consumer advocacy groups are calling on General Motors to make airbags a standard feature in its compact cars in Mexico. In a letter to GM Chief Executive Mary Barra, the groups said GM's move to put airbags only in cars for “wealthy countries” is a “a morally indefensible decision.”

Holiday spending was up 7.9% this year compared to the 2014 season, according to the MasterCard SpendingPulse report. The report also showed online shopping was up 20% this season.

U.S. retail sales were up 3.3% overall in 2015, reaching $5.254 trillion, another report showed. The report by eMarketer also stated retail sales are expected to grow 3.5% in 2016.

Volkswagen’s Audi division has cut 2016 spending plans to 3.3 billion euros. Audi’s previous forecast was 3.4 billion euros.

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