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Top 5 Stories
Ford, Toyota Raise Concerns Over California Tailpipe Efforts
Ally IPO Slated for Late Second Quarter, Sources Say
Nissan Quarterly Profit Jumps 78 Percent
Some Dealers Worry About 'Getting Enough of the Right Cars'
Lincoln Dealerships: Entry Towers, Leather Chairs And Cafes
Top 5 Stories
Ford, Toyota Raise Concerns Over California Tailpipe Efforts

SAN FRANCISCO— Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. told House Republicans they have serious concerns about efforts by the state of California to move forward with its own tailpipe emissions program starting in the 2017 model year. In letters made public (Monday), Ford and Toyota told the House Oversight and Government Reform's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., that California's efforts to set its own standards could harm automakers. Toyota vice president for government and industry affairs Thomas Lehner told Issa that if California went ahead with its own rules it "would create an unworkable patchwork of regulations" and would add costs. A national program "allows flexibility among dealers and avoids a morass of state-by-state product and technology plans, distribution nightmares, difficulty meeting consumer needs and other severe complications," Lehner wrote. "A single national approval is an absolute necessity for the automobile industry." (Peter Lawson, Ford's vice president for government relations) said the California rules could force auto dealers "in affected states to restrict, ration, or eliminate sales of selected models." It could also force automakers "to reduce or eliminate production of selected models" and "reducing the selection of vehicles available to consumers in affected states," Lawson wrote.
Source: The Detroit News

Editor's note: In his first speech as chairman of NADA on Monday, Utah dealer Stephen Wade said NADA will continue to fight for a single, national fuel economy standard that takes consumer demand into account. He said that unwieldy fuel economy increases is an "an issue that could severely affect our ability to sell cars" and is "one of our top priorities this year." Today, the House Energy and Commerce committee is examining the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) role in setting emissions standards for both industry and automobiles. Click here to view the hearing.

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Ally IPO Slated for Late Second Quarter, Sources Say

DETROIT -- Ally Financial Inc., the automobile and home lender majority owned by the U.S. government, plans to sell shares to the public late in the second quarter, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The initial public offering may come as soon as late May said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the IPO’s timing isn’t public. Chief Executive Officer Michael Carpenter, 63, is setting the stage for the government to begin exiting its 74 percent stake. Investors’ demand for the stock may be high because the business is profitable and strong used-car prices are reducing the risk of losses on repossessed cars, said independent consultant Maryann Keller.
Source: Bloomberg

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Nissan Quarterly Profit Jumps 78 Percent

TOKYO— Nissan reported a 78 percent jump in quarterly profit and raised its full-year forecasts today as vehicle sales grew in North America, Europe and Asia, offsetting a weak performance in Japan. Nissan's October-December net profit totaled 80.07 billion yen ($976.4 million), up from 44.97 billion yen a year earlier. Helping the Japanese automaker's bottom line was a better performance at Renault, in which Nissan owns a 15 percent stake. Cost cuts and improved model offerings were additional pluses. "Our financial results are evidence that Nissan continues to deliver solid performance," said Nissan President and Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn.
Source: The Associated Press 

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Some Dealers Worry About 'Getting Enough of the Right Cars'

SAN FRANCISCO -- Retail sales growth driven by resurgent consumer demand may be stifled by lean vehicle production schedules and automakers not getting the most in-demand products where they are most needed. “Who knows how many Hyundais I could sell if I could get the right inventory? Who knows how many diesel trucks I could sell if I could get the right inventory?” asked Bob Edwards, a dealer with Chevrolet, Cadillac, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia franchises in Council Bluffs, Iowa. “It’s a matter of not getting enough of the right cars,” Edwards said during the NADA convention. Brian O’Donnell, president of Valley Ford Truck in Cleveland, said he hasn’t lost any sales because of product shortages -- yet. “I think we’re all managing the situation well, but we’re very concerned,” he said.
Source: Automotive News

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Lincoln Dealerships: Entry Towers, Leather Chairs And Cafes

Ford Motor Co. dropped a design hint of sorts this week in a display depicting a future vision for its Lincoln dealerships during the National Automobile Dealers Association meeting. The vision, outlined on two large kiosks, showed a dealership that aimed at emitting luxury from the leather chairs in the waiting area to the block-tiled café where potential buyers can experience their vehicles through computer touch screens. The image begins on the outside with an “entry tower” which marks the entrance of the building and carries the Lincoln brand symbol. The dealership should be “uniquely positioned to provide an upscale contrast to the competitors,” according to the display.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Quotable
 
A national program "allows flexibility among dealers and avoids a morass of state-by-state product and technology plans, distribution nightmares, difficulty meeting consumer needs and other severe complications."

    -- Thomas Lehner, Toyota vice president for government and industry affairs, in a letter to House Oversight and Government Reform's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., saying that if California went ahead with its own rules it "would create an unworkable patchwork of regulations" and would add costs, The Detroit News, Feb. 7
Video Highlights
 

NADA-TV: Coverage of the 2011 NADA Convention


NADA Charitable Foundation Provides Canine Companion (NADA-TV)


What UNICAP Victory Means to Dealers (NADA-TV)

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