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Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 5 Stories
Prediction: Auto Sales Could be Smashing for 2010
Hyundai Targets 10% Growth in Auto Sales
Treasury Said to Be Planning Sale of $2.5 Billion in Ally TruPS This Month
NADA Convention Workshop to Highlight New UNICAP Safe Harbors
Mocked as Uncool, the Minivan Rises Again
Top 5 Stories
Prediction: Auto Sales Could be Smashing for 2010

The final new car sales figures for 2010 won't be released until (later today), but there are growing indications that it turned out to be a pretty strong year. The latest comes from analyst Brian Johnson of Barclays Capital who predicts in a note to investors ... that the December sales rate was the highest in two years, excluding the period when the government was offering its cash-for-clunkers incentive. That's a 13% sales gain over December 2009.
Source: USA Today

Editor's note: NADA Chief Economist Paul Taylor will announce his annual sales forecast and economic outlook for 2011 this Friday, Jan. 7. "There should be plenty of good news all year for new-car and -truck sales in 2011," Taylor says.

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Hyundai Targets 10% Growth in Auto Sales

SEOUL—Hyundai Motor Group is targeting 10% growth in global vehicle sales this year as the South Korean company focuses on quality and safety. Hyundai Motor Group, the world's No. 5 auto maker by sales, aims for affiliates Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. to sell 6.33 million units, up from an estimated 5.75 million units last year, group Chairman Chung Mong-koo told employees Monday. "Safety should come first," Mr. Chung said. "It is a key strategy to ensure survival in a fast-changing landscape and competitiveness."
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Treasury Said to Be Planning Sale of $2.5 Billion in Ally TruPS This Month

The U.S. Treasury Department may sell as much as $2.5 billion of Ally Financial Inc. trust-preferred securities this month as it looks to recoup bailout funds for taxpayers, a person with direct knowledge of the plan said. Treasury will look to sell at least $1 billion of the securities to investors in January or “shortly after” fourth- quarter earnings are announced in February, said the person, who asked not be named because the plans are private. Ally, the auto and home lender that benefited from a $17.2 billion bailout from U.S. taxpayers, moved closer to regaining its independence last week as the government converted $5.5 billion of preferred stock into common shares. Treasury said it would begin selling the TruPS, with Ally’s help, “as soon as practical,” according to a Dec. 30 statement.
Source: Bloomberg

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NADA Convention Workshop to Highlight New UNICAP Safe Harbors

NADA-backed effort on UNICAP was a big win for auto dealers

McLEAN, Va.– Auto dealers who want to learn about significant federal income tax developments that may prove beneficial to their businesses, including new “safe harbor” UNICAP accounting methods, now have another reason to attend the NADA Convention & Expo in San Francisco next month. The workshop, “UNICAP and Other Federal Tax Developments,” will look at attractive provisions in the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and several dealer tax issues related to the industry’s consolidation. However, its primary focus will be on the IRS’s November 2010 creation of two new optional UNICAP accounting methods in Revenue Procedure 2010-44 and what it means for dealers. The workshop will be presented by IRS Motor Vehicle Technical Advisor Terri Harris and NADA tax consultant Robert Zwiers (Crowe Horwath LLP), both of Grand Rapids, Mich., on Feb. 6 and 7.
Source: NADA Public Affairs

Editor’s note: This is part five in a series of features on NADA convention workshops offered in San Francisco.

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Mocked as Uncool, the Minivan Rises Again

DETROIT — Could driving a minivan, the ultimate embodiment of the suburban family vehicle, ever be considered cool? The automakers are trying mightily to persuade us. In marketing campaigns featuring heavy-metal theme songs, rapping parents, secret agents in cat masks, pyrotechnics and even Godzilla, minivan makers are trying to recast the much-ridiculed mom-mobile as something that parents can be proud — or at least unashamed — of driving. “The stories we heard were, ‘I just don’t want to be seen in a minivan. I don’t like being the soccer-mom joke or feeling like I’ve given up all trace of my identity to be a parent,’ ” said Richard Bame, Toyota’s national marketing manager for trucks and minivans. Making a minivan seem hip might be a stretch, but the new marketing efforts seem to be paying dividends, although the vehicles remain a small niche of the auto market.
Source: The New York Times

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Quotable
 
“A year ago, people were asking whether Chrysler would make it. Now, the question is how fast they’re going to come back.”

    -- Barron Meade, a Chrysler dealer and chairman of Detroit’s North American International Auto Show, Bloomberg, Jan. 3

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