Your local automotive dealer clients have much to be thankful for this November—Automotive News reports for the first time ever, consumers are on pace to spend over $400 billion buying new vehicles this year. That’s almost an 80% improvement over what was spent just five years ago when the recession hit. A J.D. Power exec said, “There’s good news on volume (and) exceptionally good news on transaction prices”……The CEO of auto supplier Harman International told analysts Harman has a $900 million contract with General Motors to produce an Android-based next-generation infotainment system that would be ready by 2016……Domestic McDonald’s October same-store sales were down again, but not nearly as badly as some analysts had expected. Comps slipped 1%, but that was a significant improvement over September’s 4.1% decline that had been the worst number in more than a decade……Pizza Hut will launch a new menu nationwide next week, including ten new crusts and a lower-calorie “skinny” version that has done well in tests. The Yum Brands division has been losing share in its category, with negative same store sales while competitors like Papa John’s and Domino’s have had mid-single digit increases……El Pollo Loco profit rose 12.7% in the third quarter with a 6.4% same-store sales increase at company-owned stores and an even better 9.1% uptick at franchised units……We’ll be getting quarterly results from most major retailers later this week, but Gap Inc. was first to report and says same-store sales were down 5% at Gap stores, flat at Banana Republic, and up 1% at Old Navy. For October alone, comps were down 7%, down 2%, and up 2% respectively for the three banners……Whole Foods, which reported encouraging sales numbers last week, plans to open 38-42 stores in the current fiscal year, and expects to grow its current 401-store roster to over 500 within three years……Sprouts had a great third fiscal quarter, with comp store sales up 9% and total sales up 21% due to having opened more units in the past year. 14 new stores opened during the quarter, bringing the chain up to 191 locations in 10 states……Humana quarterly profit was down despite the addition of 1.8 million new customers so far this year. The company projects that relatively flat premiums will help it attract yet more new customers next year, and profit should be helped by a new government ratings system that should improve its Medicare business……The NPD Group says sales of 4K and Ultra HD TVs have reached $668 million so far this year, about nine times more than a year ago. More than 70% of 4K/UHD sets being sold are at least 55 inches with an average selling price around $2,400.