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Top 5 Stories
Toyota to Recall 1.7 Million Vehicles
Obama to Urge Congress to Fund More Electric Car Programs
GM to Boost Pickup Production
NADA Convention to Feature SEMA-Led Session Focused On Accessories Market
Detroit Auto Show Reports 3% Gain in Attendance
Top 5 Stories
Toyota to Recall 1.7 Million Vehicles

TOKYO—Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday that it will recall more than 1.7 million vehicles world-wide due to faulty parts including defective fuel devices, giving the company's once-prestigious reputation for quality another black eye. The Japanese auto maker said that 1.28 million vehicles in Japan and a combined 421,000 vehicles in North America, Europe and other markets—including nearly 245,000 Lexus sedans sold in the U.S.—are subject to recall. This is the third straight instance of Toyota starting the year with a safety warning affecting more than one million of its cars, minivans and sport-utility vehicles. The U.S. models targeted are Lexus GS 300/350 sedans and Lexus IS 250/350 sedans produced from 2006 through 2007 and 2006 through 2009, respectively.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Obama to Urge Congress to Fund More Electric Car Programs

President Barack Obama said Tuesday he remains committed to a campaign goal to flood America's highways with plug-in cars and will ask Congress for new programs to support sales and development of electric vehicles. "With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015," Obama said during his State of the Union address. The president plans to ask Congress to approve a budget that includes improved consumer rebates, investment in research and development and other programs to encourage communities to invest in electric vehicle infrastructure, according to a fact sheet provided to the Free Press by the White House. Still, by 2015, J.D. Power and Associates forecasts the number of plug-in and electric vehicles -- such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf -- will grow to about 700,000, or about 300,000 short of Obama's 2008 campaign pledge.
Source: Detroit Free Press

Editor's Note: The specifics of the President’s initiative to boost advance technology vehicles remain vague. NADA will evaluate and support proposals that are affordable, consistent with consumer demand and reflect the vehicle mix available at dealerships today.

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GM to Boost Pickup Production

FLINT, Mich.—General Motors Co. on Monday said it will bolster production at a Michigan pickup factory to meet growing demand for heavy-duty trucks. In Flint, the company will add a third shift at the 64-year-old factory in response to an uptick in residential and commercial construction, said Mark Reuss, GM's head of North American operations. The company will rehire 750 idled workers to staff the shift. "As the economy improves and housing starts increase, you're going to see us go to town on this," Mr. Reuss said of the pickup market. Mr. Reuss said that the auto maker is approaching decisions on boosting truck production with caution with the expectation that gas prices will rise and could again diminish appeal of larger vehicles.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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NADA Convention to Feature SEMA-Led Session Focused On Accessories Market

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. -- A dedicated Aftermarket Zone as well as a presentation from the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) will provide attendees at the 2011 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Expo a chance to discover how relevant and profitable the aftermarket can be for new-car and -truck dealerships. Research shows that displaying modified vehicles and selling accessories can help dealers increase both sales and profits. SEMA Council Director Zane Clark will elaborate on these opportunities, as he examines the industry outlook and opportunities during the presentation, “Success Without Boundaries: Maximizing Aftermarket Sales.” “This session will provide attendees with a true appreciation for the challenges and opportunities presented by operating a dealer accessory program on a day-to-day basis,” said Clark, who spent 13 years running several successful aftermarket departments for dealerships before joining SEMA.
Source: Aftermarket News

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Detroit Auto Show Reports 3% Gain in Attendance

DETROIT -- The 2011 North American International Auto Show was a far cry from the subdued mood of recent years, according to final numbers released (Tuesday) by the event's organizers. Attendance at the 2011 show totaled 735,370 visitors -- a 3 percent gain over 2010's mark of 714,137 visitors. This year's results included the breaking of the single-day record for a Friday: 75,327 this year, beating the Friday record of 74,900 set in 1993. "The 2011 NAIAS validated all promises made by exhibitors in 2009 and 2010 as the product pipeline is full and vibrant," Barron Meade, chairman of the 2011 show, said in a statement. "The ability to rise up from the difficult economic times of the recent past in glowing fashion indicates a positive ripple effect for our local, national and global economies."
Source: Automotive News

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Quotable
 
"The ability to rise up from the difficult economic times of the recent past in glowing fashion indicates a positive ripple effect for our local, national and global economies."

    -- Barron Meade, chairman of the 2011 North American International Auto Show, which drew 735,370 visitors -- a 3 percent gain over 2010's mark of 714,137 visitors, Automotive News, Jan. 25

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