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Friday, March 18, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top 5 Stories
Lacking Parts, G.M. Will Close Plant
Honda Uncertain on Restarting Japan Plants
Sonic: Used Cars to Serve As Buoy if Import Supply Becomes Depleted
Lincoln Ranks No. 1 in Dependability Study
NADA Foundation Program Reaches 500th Ambassador
Top 5 Stories
Lacking Parts, G.M. Will Close Plant

DETROIT — General Motors said Thursday that it would temporarily shut a truck plant in Louisiana because it could not get enough Japanese-made parts, the first in what analysts say could be widespread disruptions at auto plants in North America because of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis half a world away. G.M. said its assembly plant in Shreveport, La., which makes a pair of compact pickup truck models, would be closed for at least a week, starting Monday. The company said it would resume operations there as soon as possible, but gave no estimated date for doing so. “Like all global automakers, we will continue to follow the events in Japan closely to determine the business impact, working across the organization to maximize flexibility, supply the most critical operations and effectively manage cost,” G.M. said in a statement.
Source: The New York Times

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Honda Uncertain on Restarting Japan Plants

Honda Motor Co. said Friday that it will suspend automobile and motorcycle assembly operations in Japan through Wednesday, as some of its suppliers need more time to restore their production facilities damaged by the devastating quake a week ago. The statement followed a warning from Honda to U.S. dealers that it isn't sure if it will be able to resume full production at certain Japanese plants before May, a sign the auto industry may face greater disruption due to the earthquake and tsunami than previously feared. "While we plan to resume automobile production in Japan as quickly as possible, we cannot say with certainty when those production plants will return to their full capacity," John Mendel, the executive vice president of American Honda, said in an email to U.S. dealers that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Sonic: Used Cars to Serve As Buoy if Import Supply Becomes Depleted

Though the company believes it has enough vehicles in stock to withstand market demand, Sonic Automotive said Thursday that if its import supply does run low due to the ongoing Japanese disaster, its dealers plan to turn to used vehicles as a supplement. “We await further news as these companies (automakers) continue to evaluate the impact of these events on their supply chain and manufacturing capacity,” explained executive vice president of retail operations Jeff Dyke. However, if inventory should become tight, he added, “Our used-vehicle buying organization is prepared to supplement our new vehicle inventory with quality nearly new used vehicles should the manufacturing disruptions interrupt new vehicle inventory supplies longer than currently anticipated."
Source: Auto Remarketing

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Lincoln Ranks No. 1 in Dependability Study

NEW YORK -- Lincoln took the top spot for the first time in a closely watched survey of long-term vehicle quality, J.D. Power and Associates said Thursday. J.D. Power and Associates said Ford's luxury brand leads its annual vehicle dependability survey for 2011. Lexus came in as No. 2 in the study, followed by Jaguar, Porsche and Toyota. The study measures problems experienced by the original owners of vehicles after three years. Toyota, which has worked to repair its tarnished reputation after massive recalls, swept seven segment awards, more than any other automaker this year, J.D. Power said. Ford racked up four segment awards, while General Motors and Honda each received three segment awards. The industry average was 150 problems per 100 vehicles after three years, the lowest rate since the study began in 1990, J.D. Power said. That's down from 155 problems per 100 vehicles last year.
Source: The Associated Press

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NADA Foundation Program Reaches 500th Ambassador

LYME, Conn. – Gary H. Reynolds, NADA director from Connecticut, says he first got involved with the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation about six years ago at the request of Bob Mallon, the foundation's chairman. In 2005, Reynolds contributed $10,000 and named his father the family’s first Ambassador. He would then go on to contribute an additional $70,000 for seven more Ambassadors, including one for his grandfather, great grandfather and great-great grandfather, himself and his three children. The latest $10,000 gift is in the name of his daughter, Kathryn, who became the foundation’s 500th Ambassador. “This is a major milestone for the foundation,” Mallon said. “I’ve always said the first 500 will be the hardest. The next 500 will be easier.”
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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For More Auto Industry News, Visit NADAFrontPage.com
 
Quotable
"While we plan to resume automobile production in Japan as quickly as possible, we cannot say with certainty when those production plants will return to their full capacity."

    -- John Mendel, the executive vice president of American Honda, which told U.S. dealers Thursday that it isn't sure if it will be able to resume full production at certain Japanese plants before May, The Wall Street Journal, March 18

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