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Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
Focus Now Turns to Toyota's Fix
Toyota Recall: Answers to Key Questions
NADA's Trucks for Haiti Campaign Ramps Up
Autos Revving Up? Saab Sold, Ford Hiring, GM Building Electric Engines
Car Sales Sputtering Back, Dallas Dealers Say
'Aftermarket Zone' to Premier at NADA Convention & Expo
Top Stories
Focus Now Turns to Toyota's Fix

Some Car Owners Question Whether Their Acceleration Incidents May Have Had Other Causes
Toyota Motor Corp. has started shipping a fix to auto dealers for the sticking gas pedals that have been linked to sudden acceleration in some of its vehicles, and said it is confident this repair and another one involving floor mats will end the speed-control problem. "These two fixes solve the issues that we know of," Jim Lentz, president of Toyota's U.S. sales arm, said in a conference call Monday with reporters. "We have done exhaustive testing, and we have found no evidence of problems with the electronics." Toyota last week had to halt production and U.S. sales of eight models in response to rising concerns that the vehicles could suddenly speed up on their own. It has issued two recalls totaling about six million vehicles to replace floor mats that can get jammed against the gas pedals, and gas pedals that can develop a tendency to get stuck in an open-throttle position. Mr. Lentz apologized for the recall and acknowledged it was embarrassing for a company that built its reputation on the reliability of its vehicles.

The fix will be sent to dealers "if not late Tuesday then Wednesday," said Mr. Lentz, who added the dealers will extend hours, work weekends and in some cases be open every hour of the day to fix cars. "It's only about a 30-minute repair, so with time to get the car in, the customer is probably looking at a total wait time of 60 to 90 minutes," said John McEleney, president of Southgate Motors in Clinton, Iowa.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Toyota Recall: Answers to Key Questions

Toyota Motor Corp. is addressing questions related to its recall of 2.3 million vehicles to fix potential sudden acceleration problems at www.toyota.com. Click here for a few key questions and answers for owners who hope to get their vehicles repaired as quickly as possible.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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NADA's Trucks for Haiti Campaign Ramps Up

The auto industry appears to be responding quickly to the pressing need for small trucks for Haiti relief efforts. Click here for NADA-TV coverage.
Source: NADA Newswire

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Autos Revving Up? Saab Sold, Ford Hiring, GM Building Electric Engines

A Dutch company is acquiring Saab from GM, and Ford says it will add 1,200 workers in Chicago. The moves could signal a recovery in the long-suffering auto industry.
More signs emerged (last week) that the U.S. auto industry may actually be recovering from its deep slump, despite estimates of anemic January salesand Toyota Motor Corp.'s suspending sales of eight vehicle models because of accelerator problems. Ford Motor Co. said it would hire 1,200 workers, and General Motors Co. announced a big investment in manufacturing electric engines. Also, Dutch sports-car maker Spyker Cars said (last) Tuesday that it had struck a deal to acquire Saab from General Motors.
Source: Los Angeles Times

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Car Sales Sputtering Back, Dallas Dealers Say

Most area dealers believe they are on the road to recovery. Despite a miserable '09, sales in December rose 8.9 percent from December '08, and several dealers said January began well. Tom Durant, who owns Classic Chevrolet in Grapevine, (Texas) said sales at his dealership dropped just 10 percent in '09, allowing Classic to retain its status as the top-selling Chevy dealership in the U.S. The dealership sold about 4,100 cars and trucks last year, he said. "We did it with a strong fourth quarter, and January started off good," Durant said. When Paul Taylor, chief economist at the National Automobile Dealers Association, makes his annual address at the NADA convention next month in Florida, he will predict sales nationally "on one side or the other of 12 million" in 2010, he said. "Things will be better," Taylor said. "But we still have to figure out just how wide the valley is between where we are now and where we want to be."
Source: The Dallas Morning News

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'Aftermarket Zone' to Premier at NADA Convention & Expo

NADA's Convention & Expo will feature--for the first time--a dedicated "Aftermarket Zone" with automotive speciality and accessory product displays and demonstrations from more than a dozen companies. "The automotive speciality and accessory market is estimated to be a $32 billion industry," says Steve Pitt, NADA vice president of conventions and expositions. "While new-car dealers are making major dealership investments and renovations to improve sales and customer satisfaction, the accessory business at dealerships has remained relatively untapped."

The NADA Expo's "Aftermarket Zone" will feature an array of products and services available to dealers to personalize their customers' vehicles. Automotive specialty-equipment products allow car owners to personalize and enhance their vehicle's appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and safety, says the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). Aftermarket specialists will be on site at the NADA convention in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 13-15, to provide tips on what automotive accessories are most likely to sell in different markets and regions across the country.

"Our goal is that dealers and their managers walk away with several ideas on how to integrate a successful vehicle accessory program at their dealerships," Pitt says. "Vehicle accessories can change the look and performance of a vehicle to make it one-of-a-kind."
Source: NADA Newswire

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Quotable
 
"This illustrates why we need an extensive network of dealers in every community."

   
-- NADA Chairman John McEleney, stressing the importance of a strong dealer network because auto retailing in not just about sales, but also service, warranties and recalls, during an interview on the Fox Business Network, Feb. 1


"It's only about a 30-minute repair, so with time to get the car in, the customer is probably looking at a total wait time of 60 to 90 minutes." 

    -- NADA Chairman John McEleney, a Toyota dealer in Clinton, Iowa, on the company's plan to fix sticking gas pedals, The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2

Video Highlights
 

NADA Launches Trucks for Haiti Campaign
(NADA-TV)

Chairman McEleney: Dealers Prepared to Repair Toyota Accelerators (Fox Business)
2010 Convention
 


NADA Chairman: Convention is the 'Must-Attend Event'

On-Site Convention Registration Opens Feb. 12 in Orlando

On-site registration for the NADA convention opens at 10 a.m., Friday, Feb. 12 in the Registration Concourse of the West Building, Orange County Convention Center. Keep in mind that three hours of “bonus” workshops, beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12, have also been added, so plan to arrive early. At registration, NADA will provide dealers and their managers with a $200 voucher to spend on goods and services on the expo floor. Click here for more information.


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Enter to Win a New HP Laptop at NADA Convention



Register for a chance to win a new HP laptop at the 2010 NADA convention in Orlando! Just stop by the NADA Pavilion, Booth #1801, to register – and while you're there take a look at the other HP products offered at a discount to NADA members. To take advantage of the member discount on HP products, visit NADA's PC Purchase Program site (member log in required).

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