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Thursday, March 3, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 5 Stories
Treasury Recoups $2.7 Billion in Ally Sale
Automakers Ramp Up Incentives on Cars and Trucks
Ford Adds to Recent Recalls
Chrysler Recalling 250,000 Vehicles Over Engine Stalling
For Cars Big or Small, It's All About the Design
For more auto industry news, visit NADAFrontPage.com
Top 5 Stories
Treasury Recoups $2.7 Billion in Ally Sale

WASHINGTON -- The Treasury Department said Wednesday it has sold trust preferred securities the government held in Ally Financial for $2.7 billion, the latest step in its efforts to recoup the costs of the $700 billion financial bailout. The department also hopes to get back more taxpayer money through an initial public offering of the former General Motors finance arm. Ally CEO Michael A. Carpenter said the sale marked a key step in the company's plan to repay U.S. taxpayers in full for the money it received from the government bailout fund, the Troubled Asset Relief Program. "We are grateful for the taxpayer's investment in the company during the financial crisis, which enabled Ally to play an integral role in the U.S. auto recovery and ensure that thousands of automotive dealers and millions of consumers had access to credit," Carpenter said in a statement.
Source: The Associated Press

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Automakers Ramp Up Incentives on Cars and Trucks

Several major automakers (on Wednesday) launched a new round of incentives to keep February's strong sales momentum heading into spring. General Motors, whose February sales surged 46.4% from a year earlier after it had industry-leading incentives, launched a new set of deals including offering zero-percent financing for 60 or 72 months on 2011 pickups and full-sized SUVs, including $2,500 cash back. Chrysler, meanwhile, extended its "No Charge Hemi" promotion on Ram 1500 pickups and is offering $2,000 rebates on leases of the 2011 200. Dealers enthusiastically welcomed the new incentives. Sam Slaughter, owner of Sellers Buick GMC in Farmington Hills, said GM's aggressive incentive strategy the past few months is helping the automaker win over new customers and is worth the risk that it poses down the road to resale values. "We have product that is absolutely phenomenal and so to get that product out in the world, I think, is a good idea," Slaughter said.
Source: Detroit Free Press 

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Ford Adds to Recent Recalls

Ford Motor Co. continued its recall streak Wednesday saying it is voluntarily recalling about 35,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada over possible electrical shorts and fuel leaks that could cause fires. The company said 25,000 of its 2010 Ranger pickup trucks are being recalled for possible fuel line leaks in the engine compartment although Ford said it is not aware of any fires or injuries. About 9,100 Edge cross over SUVs, Lincoln MKX and Super Duty pickup trucks are also being recalled due to body control modules that were not properly inspected during an earlier recall. Owners will be notified in mid-March so they can take their vehicles to dealers for repairs.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Chrysler Recalling 250,000 Vehicles Over Engine Stalling

Chrysler Group LLC said it is recalling nearly 250,000 minivans and crossovers over engine stalling linked to two crashes. The company said it is calling back 248,437 2010 Dodge Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country vehicles built between August 2009 and June over concerns that some ignition keys may inadvertently move while driving, causing the vehicle to shut off. Chrysler told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration it believes that 3 percent of the recalled vehicles have the problem. Chrysler will start notifying owners and dealers in April and will replace the part that houses the ignition key.
Source: The Detroit News

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For Cars Big or Small, It's All About the Design

GENEVA — Could costly crude be good for auto aesthetics? As the latest spike in oil prices sends buyers in search of cars that are smaller and more fuel efficient — and less lucrative for automakers — companies are looking for ways to defend their profit margins. One solution is to make compact cars cool enough to command a premium price. “Design is the No. 1 factor in the purchase decision,” said Norbert Reithofer, the chief executive of BMW, whose Mini and 1 Series vehicles are two examples of small cars that buyers are willing to pay substantially extra for. “Brand image is becoming more important and one of the key elements is design,” said Joachim Schmidt, head of sales and marketing at Daimler, the maker of Mercedes cars.
Source: The New York Times

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For more auto industry news, visit NADAFrontPage.com

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Quotable
 
"We are grateful for the taxpayer's investment in the company during the financial crisis, which enabled Ally to play an integral role in the U.S. auto recovery and ensure that thousands of automotive dealers and millions of consumers had access to credit."

   -- Michael A. Carpenter, Ally CEO, The Associated Press, March 2

Video Highlights
 

McConnell calls for single, national fuel economy standard (NADA-TV)

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GM's Dan Akerson to Keynote NADA/IHS Automotive Forum 2011
Register today for the second annual NADA/IHS Automotive Forum in New York City on April 19, 2011 hosted by the New York International Auto Show.

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