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Monday, March 14, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 5 Stories
Auto Plants in Japan Remain Closed as Companies Take Stock
Japan Automakers Extend Shutdowns Amid Parts Shortages as Quake Impact Widens
Buyers Move Toward Better Fuel Economy
Financing Getting Easier for Buying New Car
NADA University Offers Three Advanced Seminars this Spring
For More Auto Industry News, Visit NADAFrontPage.com
Top 5 Stories
Auto Plants in Japan Remain Closed as Companies Take Stock

Most Japanese auto assembly plants will remain closed on Monday, even though the factories are outside the hardest-hit regions and did not experience significant damage from the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck on Friday. Automakers scrambled on Sunday to determine whether they would be able to build and export cars in light of the rolling power blackouts (meant to conserve electricity) and the damage to Japan’s infrastructure. Earl Stewart, the owner of Earl Stewart Toyota in North Palm Beach, Fla., said demand for the Prius had surged so much that he recently sold out. He worries that Toyota might not be able to get many more to his dealership any time soon. “I put used Priuses on my showroom floor because we don’t have any new ones,” Mr. Stewart said. “The timing could not be worse. I don’t know how long it will take to get the roads and ports cleaned up and get Priuses back on the ships.”
Source: The New York Times

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Japan Automakers Extend Shutdowns Amid Parts Shortages as Quake Impact Widens

TOKYO – Japan's seven big automakers are extending nationwide production shutdowns amid growing concern about supply chain interruptions, power shortages and export difficulties following the massive earthquake and tsunami that hammered northern Japan, killing thousands. U.S. production may even be hit if plants there can't get parts normally imported from Japan. "Overseas production could be affected as well if shutdowns become prolonged, as core components such as engines and transmissions are supplied to overseas vehicle factories from Japan," predicted Kohei Takahashi, an auto analyst with J.P. Morgan Securities in Tokyo. "Given the 20,000 to 30,000 parts that go into making an automobile, and the difficulty of procuring even basic materials, we do not foresee a return to normal production schedules anytime soon," he wrote in a report, adding he saw little lingering long-term industry damage.
Source: Automotive News

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Buyers Move Toward Better Fuel Economy

After one of the biggest two-week jumps in gasoline prices on record, fuel economy has rocketed to the top of buyers' minds. But this time -- unlike the last gasoline price spike in 2008 -- the auto industry feels better positioned to cope. About two-thirds of shoppers are looking harder at smaller or more fuel-efficient rides than they were just a month ago, according to an Automotive News survey last week of more than 300 dealers. But sentiment expressed in the showroom and in Internet polling suggests that a more pronounced shift is in the works. Consulting firm IHS Automotive pegs the new trigger point at $4, a level breached last month in California. Paul Taylor, chief economist at the National Automobile Dealers Association, says it will take a level consumers haven't yet seen, $4.50, before they move in earnest to more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Source: Automotive News

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Financing Getting Easier for Buying New Car

As car buyers head back into dealerships after a two-year drought, they're being greeted by rock-bottom interest rates on auto loans, eye-popping lease deals and a renewed willingness to lend to people with spotty credit. "If you feel comfortable purchasing today, the deals are out there to be had," says Mark Hawks, 40, an information technology specialist from suburban Washington, D.C., who shaved thousands of dollars off the sticker price of the Ford Taurus SHO sport sedan he bought in December. (Hawks) was pre-approved through his credit union for a five-year loan with a 3.99-percent annual interest rate. But his dealer beat that, offering a 3.79-percent rate with no payment for 90 days through Fifth Third Bank. The dealer also kicked in a $2,000 rebate and the trade-in value of Hawks' eight-year-old Subaru. Final price of the new car: $33,000, compared with a sticker price of $46,000.
Source: The Associated Press

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NADA University Offers Three Advanced Seminars this Spring

NADA University’s Learning Hub is offering three four-day advanced seminars at NADA headquarters this spring. First up, on April 11-15, NADA Academy instructor Robert Atwood will lead “Advanced Service Management.” From May 2-6, NADA Academy instructor Chris Bavis will teach “Advanced Parts and DMS Management.” Finally, on May 23-27, NADA Academy instructors Les Abrams and Bill Adkins will teach advanced students how to “Dominate Your Market.” Tuition for each is $1,895 per person. To register, sign into www.NADAuniversity.com; click on “NADA U Store,” then “Products,” and then “NADA Webinars & Seminars.”
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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For More Auto Industry News, Visit NADAFrontPage.com

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Quotable
 
"Given the 20,000 to 30,000 parts that go into making an automobile, and the difficulty of procuring even basic materials, we do not foresee a return to normal production schedules anytime soon."

    -- Kohei Takahashi, an auto analyst with J.P. Morgan Securities in Tokyo, on the Japan earthquake's impact on U.S. auto production if American plants can't get parts normally imported from Japan, Automotive News, March 14

Video Highlights
 

David Hyatt Discusses Impact of Fuel Prices with NADA Analysts (AutoFocus)


NADA's McConnell Calls for Single, National Fuel Economy Standard (NADA-TV)


Ciccolo: Life's Good Fortune Instills 'Driving Desire to Give Back' (NADA-TV)

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