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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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At a Glance...
Top Stories
Ford Jumps into Quality Race
Automakers Must Work Harder to Sell to Affluent U.S. Buyers
Study: Hybrid Car Owners are Most Loyal
GM Offers More Fuel-efficient Pickup Trucks, SUVs
Honda's Lineup Prospers; Japanese Rivals Scurry to Revise Product Plans
Toyota Weighs Export of U.S. Vehicles
Chrysler Hunts for Contract Jobs from Other Automakers
Opinion: Touch All the Bases in the Fuel Search
NADA Update
NADA Director Elections: Results Are In
NADA Insurance Announces New Plan for Retiring and Career-changing Dealers
NADA Convention Registration is off to a Strong Start
Convention Workshop Recordings Now Available at Discounted Cost
STAR Answers Dealers' Questions About Dealership Data Security
Lenovo PCs Power Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
Top Stories
Ford Jumps into Quality Race

Blue Oval adds training in vow to beat Toyota
TRAVERSE CITY -- Ford Motor Co. threw down the gauntlet to its Japanese rivals Monday, vowing to snatch the quality title from rival Toyota Motor Corp., starting with the launch of its new small car lineup in 2010. "That's right, I said it. Ford Motor Co. will be the quality leader," promised Bennie Fowler, Ford's group vice president of global quality. "This time, we're playing for all the marbles -- and we aim to win." To help achieve its goal, the Dearborn automaker will enroll hourly workers from each of its U.S. factories in a rigorous quality training program at Wayne State University that is usually reserved for managers.
Source:  The Detroit News

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Automakers Must Work Harder to Sell to Affluent U.S. Buyers

DETROIT -- Luxury cars and trucks are beginning to fall victim to the same woes dragging down the rest of the U.S. auto industry, forcing auto makers to fight hard for sales and to employ new tactics to peddle their highest-priced vehicles. The luxury market is down 11% year-to-date, with overall U.S. auto sales down 18%. GM is taking a bet that there is still demand for big, status-symbol trucks among buyers unscathed by the slumping economy. Other auto makers aren't so sure.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Study: Hybrid Car Owners are Most Loyal

DETROIT -- Hybrid car owners are some of the most loyal in the U.S. market, with nearly half purchasing a vehicle of the same make when they buy another car, according to a study released Monday by an automotive data company. Forty-seven percent of hybrid buyers buy a vehicle of the same make, compared with 35% of buyers overall, according to Experian Automotive... Eighteen percent of hybrid car buyers even buy the same model, compared with 12% overall.
Source:  Associated Press

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GM Offers More Fuel-efficient Pickup Trucks, SUVs

DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. is releasing new, more fuel-efficient versions of its full-size pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles later this fall. The XFE — or extra fuel economy — versions of the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks and Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs will get one mile per gallon more in both city and highway fuel economy than non-XFE versions. The boost will give them a total of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 21 on the highway. The XFE pickups and SUVs will be available in the fourth quarter of this year.
Source:  Associated Press

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Honda's Lineup Prospers; Japanese Rivals Scurry to Revise Product Plans

If there were an award for the smartest and luckiest automaker, Honda probably would have been declared the winner this year. The spike in gasoline prices has pushed the product programs of some automakers into the shredder. But Honda's conservative product plan was the proper path, after all. Honda ignored dealer and media criticism over the past years that it failed to offer what Americans really wanted: big, body-on-frame, V-8-powered SUVs and pickups.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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Toyota Weighs Export of U.S. Vehicles

Toyota Motor Corp. is exploring whether to export its U.S. pickup and sport-utility vehicles to other countries. Toyota, like rivals Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp., is finding it difficult to sell the larger vehicles as gas prices hover near the $4 mark. Automotive executives say there has been a fundamental shift away from the vehicles and that sales will never return to the levels they once reached. Tundra sales have dropped 15% through July 31, and production of both vehicles was idled last week due to rising inventories. Toyota, which imports about 30% of the vehicles it sells in the U.S., joins a growing list of companies that are considering exporting products given the weak dollar.
Source:  The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required.)

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Chrysler Hunts for Contract Jobs from Other Automakers


TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Automaker Chrysler is seeking manufacturing alliances with other automakers in a bid to "generate cash as a smaller company," Chrysler's manufacturing chief said Monday. Chrysler has "the flexibility" to perform contract manufacturing for other automakers, Frank Ewasyshyn, Chrysler's executive vice president in charge of manufacturing, said during an industry forum in Traverse City. "We have looked at partners for a lot of things and we are going to continue to do that for the best business model," Ewasyshyn said.
Source:  Reuters

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Opinion: Touch All the Bases in the Fuel Search
by Edward B. Cohen

Industry, Washington must not prejudge any technology
When President John F. Kennedy put forth the vision that would take America to the moon, he did not define the technology that would get us there. Rather, he set a clear target and then relied on science to determine how best to get the job done. Today, the auto industry faces perhaps an even greater challenge: to create technologies that address global climate change, energy sustainability and energy security. The approach the industry takes for its "moonshot" also must have a clearly defined goal and a spirit of free competition that will allow promising technologies to flourish and prove their merit in the marketplace. But the specific technology for responding to that challenge should not be prejudged. And, critically, that marketplace is not just here in the United States but worldwide, given the insatiable global appetite for mobility.
Source:  Automotive News (Subscription required.)

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NADA Update
NADA Director Elections: Results Are In

NADA Directors from four states have been elected. They are:

  • South Carolina: Cliff C. Goodwin, III (Goodwin Honda Mitsubishi Volkswagen) succeeds William Bradshaw.
  • Metropolitan Washington, DC: Tamara C. Darvish (DARCARS Automotive Group) succeeds Geoffrey Pohanka.
  • Georgia: Ramsey T. "Bub" Way (Way Brothers Ford) succeeds Martin NeSmith.
  • Kansas: David Shepherd (Shepherd Team Auto Plaza) succeeds Dale Willey.

Goodwin and Darvish serve 3-year terms beginning Jan. 27, 2009. The announcements will be made at the NADA convention in New Orleans. Shepherd also takes office Jan. 27 to serve the rest of Willey's term, which expires Feb. 2011. Way takes office immediately to serve NeSmith's remaining term, which expires Feb. 2010.

Eighteen directors were re-elected: Tom Johnson, Ariz.; Peter Blackstock, Northern Calif.; John Symes, Southern Calif.; Jeff Carlson, Colo.; Gary Reynolds, Conn.; Joe Hanley, Hawaii; Greg Taylor, Idaho; Rick Gregg, Ill.; John McEleney, Iowa; Ray Ciccolo, Mass.; William Adamson, Minn.; Butch Oustalet, Miss.; Bill Fox, N.Y. State; Neale Kuperman, Metropolitan N.Y.; Chuck Eddy, Ohio; David Penske, Eastern Pa.; Doug Knust, S.D.; and George Miller, W.Va.

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NADA Insurance Announces New Plan for Retiring and Career-changing Dealers

NADA Insurance is offering a new, two-year continuation of NADA's Dealer Life Insurance plan for members who are either retiring or transitioning out of the retail-automotive industry. "In the spirit of supporting dealers who have been loyal clients of NADA's insurance programs over the years, this new program is available to them once they are no longer NADA members," says Lin Peacock, vice president of NADA Insurance. The plan is available to members who have been NADA Insurance clients for a minimum of five years. The current policy and premiums remain the same. No additional applications or underwriting are necessary. To learn more about this new enhancement to the NADA Dealer Life Insurance plan, call NADA Insurance at (888) 461-6232.

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NADA Convention Registration is off to a Strong Start

 

Registration for the 2009 NADA Convention & Exposition in New Orleans January 24-27 opened only two weeks ago and three hotels are already sold out and sales of exhibit 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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Lenovo PCs Power Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

  

Lenovo, a major sponsor of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, is providing 30,000 computers to power all aspects of the games. Imagine what they can do for you! NADA members can save up to 36 percent on select ThinkPad notebooks with eCoupon USXBACKTOSCHOOL at checkout. This offer ends August 25. 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.

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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 Motor Co. will be the quality leader. This time, we're playing for all the marbles -- and we aim to win."

    -- Bennie Fowler, Ford's group vice president of global quality, referring to the company's vow to snatch the quality title from rival Toyota Motor Corp., starting with the launch of its new small car lineup in 2010, The Detroit News, Aug. 12


"We have looked at partners for a lot of things and we are going to continue to do that for the best business model." 

    -- Frank Ewasyshyn, Chrysler's executive vice president in charge of manufacturing, Reuters, Aug. 12


"The approach the industry takes for its 'moonshot' also must have a clearly defined goal and a spirit of free competition that will allow promising technologies to flourish and prove their merit in the marketplace."

    -- Edward B. Cohen, vice president of government relations at American Honda Motor Co. Inc., calling on the industry and Washington not to prejudge any technology in the quest for global climate change, energy sustainability and energy security, Automotive News, Aug. 11
Video Highlights
 
  
NADA's New Orleans "Committed to Community" 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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