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Thursday, August 7, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Toyota Reports 28 Percent Fall in Profit
Chrysler, Nissan in Talks to Team Up on Key Cars
Ford Boosts Better Fuel Economy in Engines
Nissan Shows Test Models of Electric Car, Hybrid
Number of New-auto Dealers Falling across Virginia, Nation
Opinion: Get Used to the Roller Coaster
NADA Update
Registration for the NADA Convention in New Orleans is off to a Strong Start
Convention Workshop Recordings Now Available at Discounted Cost
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Dealership Data Security
Save on Lenovo ThinkPad Notebooks
Top Stories
Toyota Reports 28 Percent Fall in Profit

TOKYO -- Toyota's fiscal first-quarter profit plunged 28 percent from the previous year as slipping North American sales, a strong yen and rising material costs dented the earnings of the Japanese automaker. Toyota reported Thursday that its April-June profit fell to 353.66 billion yen ($3.23 billion) from nearly 492 billion the same period the previous year. Quarterly sales edged down 4.7 percent to 6.215 trillion yen ($56.8 billion). Last month, Toyota lowered its global vehicle sales plan for this calendar year by 350,000 vehicles to 9.5 million vehicles, blaming the sluggish North American market. The pace of Toyota's growth has been slowing to a 1 percent gain this year in contrast to a 6 percent climb in 2007.
Source:  Associated Press

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Chrysler, Nissan in Talks to Team Up on Key Cars

DETROIT -- Chrysler LLC is in talks with Nissan Motor Co. about jointly producing midsize cars, a partnership that would move the U.S. auto maker toward a radical new business model. A partnership with Nissan on midsize sedans would put Chrysler on a path to becoming a marketer and seller of cars made by others. Under its earlier agreement with Nissan, which is based in Japan, Chrysler will start selling a subcompact car made by Nissan by about 2011. Chrysler also has a deal under which China's Chery Automobile Co. will make small cars for it. This outsourcing approach has worked for computer makers such as Dell Inc., which relies on key suppliers to develop major components, and does limited engineering itself. For the auto industry, using such a model on a wide scale could prove risky. Sophisticated car buyers who are aware that Nissan is manufacturing sedans for Chrysler might simply buy Nissan's version of the car.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Ford Boosts Better Fuel Economy in Engines

Ford Motor Co.'s group vice president for global product development, Derrick Kuzak, said Wednesday that Ford would "achieve class-leading fuel economy" for its new cars and trucks in North America "through unprecedented spending on advanced gasoline engines." That includes EcoBoost, a Ford-branded engine technology that combines gasoline-injection with turbocharging for up to a 20% improvement in fuel economy, as well as other technologies. "We are committed to being the best or among the best in fuel economy with every new Ford product," Kuzak said during a daylong event for journalists at Ford's test track in Dearborn, where the automaker was showing off its 2009 lineup.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Nissan Shows Test Models of Electric Car, Hybrid

YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Nissan showed on Wednesday a spiffy electric car packed with a battery developed by the Japanese automaker to deliver more power than the type common in today's hybrids. The electric vehicle, set for sale in 2010, carried a 300 kilogram (660 pounds) lithium-ion battery and still zipped around a Nissan Motor Co. test course, accelerating more quickly than comparable gas-engine cars. Having fallen behind Japanese rivals Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. in hybrids, Nissan has made the electric vehicle the pillar of its green strategy.
Source: Associated Press

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Number of New-auto Dealers Falling across Virginia, Nation

Virginia is home to about 2 percent fewer franchised new-car dealerships than a year ago, according to the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association. VADA estimates Virginia has 554 franchised new vehicle dealerships, a decrease of 11 from a year ago. Across the country, the number of dealerships shrank from 21,200 in 2006 to 20,770 in 2007, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association -- also a 2 percent drop. Slow vehicle sales are driving the sector's consolidation. As of the end of last year, the average dealer was losing money in his or her new-vehicle department, which includes financing and insurance products, according to the NADA. Used vehicles and service are profitable lines of business for dealers.
Source:  Roanoke Times

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Opinion: Get Used to the Roller Coaster
by Keith Crain

Just as everyone was getting used to the disaster we call the domestic automobile business — gasoline was way more than $4 a gallon and oil was pushing $150 a barrel — the unexpected happened. The prices of a barrel of oil and a gallon of gasoline started dropping. Where they will stop, nobody knows. Now the world is finding out just how important flexible manufacturing is and how important it will be in the future. No one can figure out whether the costs of commodities are permanent or will continue to swing wildly. If you decide to hedge by buying futures and there are some wild swings the wrong way, you're going to be in a very uncompetitive position. Automobile dealers are going to be very cautious about their inventory. Today, too many dealers have far too high an inventory of pickups and SUVs — that is, unless the price of gasoline drops another half dollar. Then, perhaps — and only perhaps — American consumers will revert to their old buying habits. It's a billion-dollar poker game these days, and few have a strong hand.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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NADA Update
Registration for the NADA Convention in New Orleans is off to a Strong Start

 

Registration for the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans Jan. 24-27 opened only a week ago and already three hotels are sold out and sales of exhibition space are strong. "We're very pleased," says Steve Pitt, vice president of NADA conventions. "This is a nice, strong start for the convention." Since Katrina, more than $1 billion has been invested in hotel renovations. More restaurants (913) are open in the city today than before Katrina, and the French Quarter is cleaner than ever. "The heart and the core of New Orleans ... looks better than it did before the storm," says Stephen Perry, president and CEO, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Hotel reservations are going fast. Be sure to take a moment now to register by clicking here.

 Click here for the video that shows just how much progress New Orleans has made since Katrina.

[Editor's Note: In recognition of tough economic times, registration fees and hotel rates have remained unchanged, and discounted airfare is available. More than 700 exhibitors, 150 dealer workshops, a heavy-weight lineup of speakers and an additional half-day of workshops, including "Lifeline to Profit$" (offered both Friday and Tuesday) are slated for the NADA convention.]

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Convention Workshop Recordings Now Available at Discounted Cost

Take advantage of a special package deal on the 2008 NADA Convention Workshop recordings to hear the audio and see the PowerPoint visuals exactly as they happened in the sessions. Buy the complete AudioPoint package for $695—a savings of more than $500—with free shipping. For more information, call Playback Now at (800) 241-7785 or go to www.iplaybackNADA.com. Use Promocode 508-5 to receive special pricing and free shipping.

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STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Dealership Data Security

 

Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) has developed new guidelines to help dealers evaluate their Dealership Data Security. Visit STAR's Dealer Infrastructure Guidelines (DIG) publication for more information. To learn how dealerships should test their security plans click here.

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Save on Lenovo ThinkPad Notebooks

 Click here for savings

NADA members can save up to 36 percent on select ThinkPad notebooks from Lenovo in three ways:

  • Instant savings with discounted Web pricing
  • Save even more with your NADA discount
  • Enter eCoupon USXBACKTOSCHOOL at checkout

To take advantage of these savings, visit NADA's PC Purchase Program online (member login required), then click on www.lenovo.com/shop/deals/nada or call (800) 426-7235, Option 1, Ext. 4838. Free ground shipping is available on all Web orders.

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Featured Video
 

Registration for the NADA convention in New Orleans Jan. 24-27 is now open. Click here to see just how much progress New Orleans has made since Katrina.


More Video Highlights

Quotable
 
Ford [will] "achieve class-leading fuel economy" for its new cars and trucks in North America "through unprecedented spending on advanced gasoline engines."

   
-- Ford Motor Co.'s group vice president for global product development, Derrick Kuzak, Detroit Free Press, August 7


"Now the world is finding out just how important flexible manufacturing is and how important it will be in the future."

   
-- Automotive News columnist Keith Crain, referring to the industry's response to recent fluctuations in oil and gas prices, Automotive News, August 5
Video Highlights
 
  
NADA's New Orleans Project: Lusher Charter School


NADA's Return to New Orleans
NADA and "SeeMore's Playhouse" Promote Child Passenger Safety Month in September
 


Click here for more NADA-TV reports.

 
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