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Top 5 Stories
Honda Suspends U.S. Dealer Orders for Japan-Built Autos
Nissan to Resume Production in Japan
Administration to Continue New Round of Fuel-Economy Talks Despite House Bill
Chrysler to Dealers: Hire More People Highlights Top Five Fuel-Efficient New Cars Below $30,000
Top 5 Stories
Honda Suspends U.S. Dealer Orders for Japan-Built Autos

Honda Motor Co., which builds more than 80 percent of its autos for the U.S. market in North American plants, suspended orders from U.S. dealers for Japan-built models after halting production there following last week’s earthquake. Honda told U.S. Honda and Acura dealers, who typically order vehicles six weeks in advance, of the plan (Thursday) in a memo, said Christina Ra and Gary Robinson, U.S. representatives for the Tokyo-based company. The suspension affects models that would have been built in May for sale in the U.S., they said. “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, Honda’s U.S. executive vice president, said in the memo.
Source: Bloomberg

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Nissan to Resume Production in Japan

TOKYO—Nissan Motor Co. said Sunday that it will start parts production and vehicle assembly operations this week in Japan, becoming the first car maker to restart its entire auto production process after a devastating quake brought the country's auto industry to a standstill. Nissan, Japan's second biggest car maker by volume, said it will resume production of parts at six factories in Japan from Monday and will also begin assembling vehicles at five of the six factories from Thursday using parts expected to be procured by then. Nissan may not be able to run its production lines at full capacity when it restarts operations at the plants, a Nissan spokesman said. Another disruption may occur as rolling blackouts are continuing in the greater Tokyo area and the radiation leakage from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, about 200 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, has yet to be settled, while some gasoline stations remain closed.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Administration to Continue New Round of Fuel-Economy Talks Despite House Bill

WASHINGTON -- Even as the House moves to block the EPA from regulating tailpipe emissions, the Obama administration is continuing talks on 2017-2025 fuel-economy and pollution standards with automakers, the state of California and environmental groups, an administration official said (Friday). David Strickland, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said (Friday) that the EPA, California and NHTSA all need to be involved in crafting the new standards. Strickland told a Consumer Federation of America conference here: "We need to do this together. Regardless of what happens on the Hill, we're working very hard today to get these rules done by September." Under a bill passed (last week) by the Republican-led House Energy and Commerce Committee, the EPA would lose authority to set greenhouse gas standards and California wouldn't be able to enforce its own pollution targets. NHTSA would be left as the main governmental agency with authority to set fuel economy rules.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: As proposed in H.R. 910, NADA believes a single, national fuel economy standard administered by NHTSA is the best way to responsibly increase fuel economy while ensuring jobs, passenger safety and consumer choice are not diminished. Click here for a letter NADA sent to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., last week in support of the bill.

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Chrysler to Dealers: Hire More People

DETROIT -- Saying that salespeople and service personnel at Chrysler Group dealerships are less productive than those of competitors, Chrysler's top dealer executive last week urged dealerships to hire more people for an expected sales surge. "Hiring additional personnel in preparation for the spring market is essential for 2011," Peter Grady, Chrysler Group's vice president of network development and fleet, wrote in a memo to dealers. "It's time to invest in productivity." David Kelleher, owner of David Dodge-Ram-Chrysler-Jeep in Glen Mills, Pa., said the Grady memo is an appropriate reminder to dealers that they need to be ready. "If they're going to hit their goals and hit the throughput, we just can't do it with the amount of salespeople we have," said Kelleher, a member of the Chrysler National Dealer Council.
Source: Automotive News

[back to top] Highlights Top Five Fuel-Efficient New Cars Below $30,000

With gas-price concerns returning, identified what it believes are the top five non-hybrid fuel-efficient vehicles that cost less than $30,000. The selections include the Chevrolet Aveo, GMC Terrain, Kia Soul, Nissan Sentra and the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen. “With a nearly 22 percent increase in the cost of gasoline compared to March 2010, our team of analysts went to work to help consumers determine the top new cars that not only addressed fuel efficiency needs, but also took into consideration what you received for the value and how practical and realistic they are for today’s lifestyles,” explained (Troy Snyder, director of product development at
Source: Auto Remarketing

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For More Auto Industry News, Visit
"This is a serious situation, and it has the potential to affect many markets, including the Americas."

    -- Carlos Tavares, chairman of Nissan Americas, a week after catastrophe struck Japan, The New York Times, March 18

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