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Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 5 Stories
Volt Is First in a Line of Plug-In Hybrids, G.M. Says
U.S. Taxpayers Came Out Ahead from GM, Chrysler Bailouts, Bloom Says
GM Wants to Buy Back Financing Arm
NADA UCG: Higher Gas Prices Likely to Impact Used-Vehicle Market
Rep. Giffords has Been Persistent Dealer Advocate
Top 5 Stories
Volt Is First in a Line of Plug-In Hybrids, G.M. Says

DETROIT — General Motors plans to introduce two more plug-in hybrid vehicles in the United States based on the Chevrolet Volt in the next few years, its chief executive, Daniel F. Akerson, said Tuesday. Mr. The Volt, which went on sale in December and was named the North American Car of the Year during the show’s media preview, could become profitable in three years, after it moves to the second-generation design that is under development, he said. By then, Mr. Akerson said, G.M. expected to be selling a hatchback and a crossover-type vehicle that use the same plug-in technology as the Volt, which is a four-door sedan that seats four. He said G.M. would “likely” sell a plug-in version of its Cadillac SRX crossover, but it was unclear whether that was the crossover to which he was referring or whether there would be a fourth Volt-based model. “The Volt is not the ultimate solution,” Mr. Akerson said at the Automotive News World Congress. “It’s a glimpse at what is possible.”
Source: The New York Times

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U.S. Taxpayers Came Out Ahead from GM, Chrysler Bailouts, Bloom Says

DETROIT — American taxpayers are better off because General Motors Co. went public and Chrysler Group is headed toward doing so this year or next, a key architect of the U.S. government's 2009 rescue said (Tuesday). Ron Bloom, senior counselor to the U.S. president for manufacturing policy, said saving the two U.S. automakers from collapse “avoided a devastating blow,” and was better than either letting them fail or taking over active control. The U.S. auto task force made mistakes, but accomplished its goal of giving the automakers “a fair chance to make it,” he said. The bailouts also prevented a collapse by either GM or Chrysler from pulling down Ford Motor Co., which did not seek a federal bailout but shared its supplier network with the other Detroit automakers. “In general, we got it right,” Bloom said.
Source: Automotive News

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GM Wants to Buy Back Financing Arm

The car business is really cash intensive. Dealers have to buy vehicles from the manufacturers. And drivers need access to cash to buy from the dealers. So-called captive finance arms — like Ford Motor Credit or Toyota Financial — lend to dealers and car buyers. They're wholly-owned subsidiaries of the carmakers. Andy Koblenz is with the National Automobile Dealers Association. He says that means they offer a competitive edge. "It's very valuable for the dealers to have a captive finance arm associated with their manufacturer," (Koblenz said) "It's not the end of the world if they don't, but there's definite benefits to it."
Source: American Public Media

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NADA UCG: Higher Gas Prices Likely to Impact Used-Vehicle Market

Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst for NADA Used Car Guide, took a cautious approach not only looking at where new-vehicle sales could head in 2011 but also as to how high fuel prices could climb this year. At the outset of his first industry update for the year, Banks reiterated 2010’s new-vehicle sales total, which settled at about 11.6 million units. “This was achieved purely by demand increases and not through an increase in incentives,” Banks insisted. ... Banks next turned to analysis strictly about used vehicles, he said that AuctionNet prices in December reflected the strength in the used market. He believes this trend will likely result in another record breaking performance from a used car index standpoint. On a year-over-year basis, Banks noted auction price data shows an increase of more than 10 percent for pickups, SUVs and vans. “This dramatically exceeded our original expectations and comes on the heels of the huge price increases witnessed from 2008 to 2009,” he asserted. “Our expectations for January remain fairly positive with only the luxury segments following normal, or slightly above average, depreciation trends.”
Source: Auto Remarketing

Editor's Note: For more analysis from the NADA Guide book, read the January issue of "Guidelines," a monthly industry update.

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Rep. Giffords has Been Persistent Dealer Advocate

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Democrat battling for her life after being shot in the head on Saturday, was an effective behind-the-scenes leader in 2009 efforts to restore rejected General Motors and Chrysler dealerships. Giffords, 40, was one of about 10 lawmakers who sought from the beginning to get the automakers to halt termination of 2,000 dealerships following the companies' bankruptcies. She was an original sponsor of the June 2009 bill that would have reversed the store closures and appeared at two press conferences outside the Capitol seeking to push the legislation, said Tamara Darvish, a co-leader of the Committee to Restore Dealer Rights, a group representing rejected dealers. Giffords, a third-generation Arizonan, took over her family's tire dealership in Tucson in 1996 before selling it in 2000. She was elected to Congress in 2006. The lawmaker was shot along with 19 others at a constituent gathering outside Tucson. She remains in critical condition at the University of Arizona's University Medical Center in Tucson.
Source: Automotive News

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Quotable
 
"The Volt is not the ultimate solution. It’s a glimpse at what is possible."

    -- Daniel F. Akerson, GM chief executive, on the automaker's plans to introduce two more plug-in hybrid vehicles in the United States based on the Chevrolet Volt, The New York Times, Jan. 12

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