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Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 5 Stories
Auto Dealers' Future is Bright
Sales of Larger Vehicles Bring Automakers an Upbeat Start for 2011
Weather Dents Auto Production
Ally Selects NADA Guide for Used Vehicle Underwriting
GM's $3 Million Ads a Bargain If Super Bowl Audience Is Record
Top 5 Stories
Auto Dealers' Future is Bright

After two traumatic years during which Chrysler terminated nearly 800 dealers and tight-fisted lenders rejected thousands of loan applications, the nation's automotive retailers gather this weekend in San Francisco, confident that their future is bright and profitable. "If we compare ourselves to last year, I'd say the recovery is about a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10," said Terry Burns, executive director of the Michigan Automobile Dealers Association. Nationally, there are 2,310 fewer dealerships today than at the end of 2008, according to Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association. Those who survived have thrived. The average dealership saw its sales rise 16.5% last year, to $28.1 million, based on a report from NADA, which compiles an average dealership profile based on data from the 17,700 stores of its members.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Sales of Larger Vehicles Bring Automakers an Upbeat Start for 2011

DETROIT — New-vehicle sales rose 17 percent in January, automakers said Tuesday, led by pickup trucks and other big profitable vehicles even as gasoline prices increased. Every manufacturer but one, Mazda, reported an increase from January 2010, and General Motors posted its highest market share in more than two years. The industry’s seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate climbed to 12.6 million, the highest since August 2009. Sales of light trucks, a label that includes pickups, sport utility vehicles, crossover vehicles and minivans, were up at least 35 percent at Toyota, Chrysler, Honda and Nissan. G.M. and Ford each reported increases of about 30 percent in pickup truck sales. Several automakers said they did not expect gas prices to climb significantly in 2011 but said that they were positioned well, with improved small cars, if a large increase occurred.
Source: The New York Times

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Weather Dents Auto Production

DETROIT—The auto industry was hit hard by heavy snow across the Midwest Wednesday, as several car makers canceled shifts or closed assembly plants and dealers from Minneapolis to Memphis kept their showrooms closed. Snow and hazardous roadways hampered part deliveries and other logistics, forcing Chrysler Group LLC to forgo morning shifts at 10 facilities. While the auto makers expect to make up the lost production, car dealers may have a harder time. On Wednesday, many were still trying to clear snow from their lots in hopes of restoring normal operations by the weekend, when most sales take place. At Laurel BMW in Westmont, Ill., near Chicago, General Manager Pat Womack said the advance warnings of the storm allowed him to start preparing for heavy snow on Sunday night. "We have a snow removal company coming in later today," Mr. Womack said. "We've got cars on the lifts and in the aisles in our service bays. The ones still outside are bumper to bumper so we can get the lot cleared."
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Ally Selects NADA Guide for Used Vehicle Underwriting

SAN FRANCISCO – The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) announced today that Ally Financial will utilize vehicle pricing information from the NADA Used Car Guide when underwriting consumer auto contracts in 38 states. The change is effective immediately. Ally Executive Vice President of North American Operations Tim Russi said the move is designed to help dealers sell more used vehicles and build on the company’s success as a leading provider of financing in the new vehicle market. “The NADA Used Car Guide is an industry leader and part of our strategy to significantly grow our market share in the used segment,” Russi said. “Dealers in a large part of the country have told us that they look to the NADA Used Car Guide as their preferred source for used vehicle valuations and we’re pleased to add it to the resources we use in our underwriting,” Russi added.
Source: NADA Used Car Guide

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GM's $3 Million Ads a Bargain If Super Bowl Audience Is Record

Super Bowl advertisers Audi AG and General Motors Co. may end up getting a bargain for 30-second spots costing a record $3 million or more, if the audience for the Fox telecast reaches new highs as forecast. The Feb. 6 National Football League championship between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers may top the record 106.5 million viewers who watched last year’s game on CBS, according to New York advertising executives Peter Gardiner of Deutsch Inc. and Andy Donchin of Carat North America. The cost of a 30-second Super Bowl spot peaked two years ago, when the Steelers, led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 27-23. Advertisers paid an average $3 million that year, according to Jon Swallen, senior vice president of research for Kantar Media in New York. “If the regular season and playoffs are any indication, you have an American populace salivating for NFL football,” Gardiner said in an interview. “Football is on a roll.”
Source: Bloomberg

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Quotable
 
"Is the market back to levels it was pre-disaster? No. But we are seeing a solid positive trend."

    -- Joe Serra, a Grand Blanc, Mich., dealer who owns 23 stores in five states, Detroit Free Press, Feb. 3

Video Highlights
 

90 Seconds with Fiat's Laura Soave (Automotive News)
Soave will be a featured speaker at NADA's Women Dealers' Breakfast Feb. 5 in San Francisco.


NADA Charitable Foundation Provides Canine Companion (NADA-TV)


What UNICAP Victory Means to Dealers (NADA-TV)

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