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Top 5 Stories
Senate to Hold Final Vote (at Noon Today) on Repealing Health Care Law's Unpopular 1099 Provision
Toyota: N. American Plant Closures Likely in April
With Japan in Crisis, Small-Car Buyers May Flock to Detroit 3
Honda Targets 12% U.S. Gain in April Despite Reduced Production
Web Shopping 2.0: Customers Just Want the Facts
Top 5 Stories
Senate to Hold Final Vote (at Noon Today) on Repealing Health Care Law's Unpopular 1099 Provision

Both the Senate and the House have already voted this year to repeal one of the most unpopular provisions of the national health care law. But this week, if things go according to plan, the Senate will hold a second (and final) vote on the issue, sending President Obama the first measure officially repealing part of his signature health care legislation. One amendment to the 1099 repeal measure will also be up for a vote Tuesday. The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to study whether the offset of the 1099 repeal would result in either increased health insurance costs or coverage cuts for small businesses. If HHS finds either of those to be the case, then the Menendez amendment would render the provision ineffective.
Source: The Washington Post

Editor's note: NADA Legislative Affairs issued a legislative alert Monday urging dealers to call their senators immediately and ask them to repeal the burdensome 1099 mandate without amendment. "Any other amendments to H.R. 4 should be opposed, since they would jeopardize passage of 1099 repeal," the alert states. With a 60-vote margin needed for passage, dealer action is required to remind senators that tax paperwork and regulatory compliance are already major expenses for small businesses, and the new reporting requirements will significantly increase this burden, inhibiting job growth. Senators can be reached through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or www.Senate.gov.

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Toyota: N. American Plant Closures Likely in April

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday that it's inevitable that the company will be forced to temporarily shut down all of its North American factories because of parts shortages due to the earthquake that hit Japan. The temporary shutdowns are likely to take place later this month, affecting 25,000 workers, but no layoffs are expected, spokesman Mike Goss said. So far the North American plants have been using parts in their inventory or relying on those that were shipped before the earthquake, Goss noted. But those supplies are running low. "We're going to get to a point this month where that gap in the pipeline starts to show up. So we'll have to suspend production for a while," he said.
Source: The Associated Press

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With Japan in Crisis, Small-Car Buyers May Flock to Detroit 3

Last month's Japanese earthquake isn't likely to hold back overall U.S. vehicle sales this year, but it may change when people buy their vehicles -- or what kind they decide to take home. AutoNation, the top-selling U.S. dealership group, on Monday echoed several analysts' and automakers' predictions that U.S. light-vehicle sales are still on track to hit about 13 million units this year for the first time since 2008. Still, the supply of Japanese automakers' products -- which made up half of AutoNation's sales last year -- should decline starting in May, sending prices higher for fuel-efficient vehicles. With popular Japanese small cars in short supply, consumers will likely take two paths, AutoNation spokesman Marc Cannon said. "The domestics will have an opportunity to pick up market share," he said. "But many customers of the imports will postpone their purchases if necessary until the inventories come back."
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Honda Targets 12% U.S. Gain in April Despite Reduced Production

LOS ANGELES -- Despite looming vehicle shortages, Honda Division is telling its U.S. dealers to aim for a 12 percent year-over-year sales gain in April, or a total of 115,000 units. In a memo sent to dealers on Monday, Honda said it is aware that delays in Japanese and North American production could affect the vehicle pipeline. Honda recently went on half-time production schedules at most of its North American plants. "We cannot lose focus on reaching our April sales objective," the memo said. Noting that the launch of the redesigned 2012 Civic commences April 20, Honda told dealers that there will be "media power" behind the event.
Source: Automotive News

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Web Shopping 2.0: Customers Just Want the Facts

In the Internet age, many dealers still rely on old standbys to pitch cars online, such as "Hot, hot, hot" and "So clean you can eat off the hood!" Don't do it, says Whit Ramonat, executive vice president of Penske Automotive Group's central region. "Shoppers just want the facts," said Ramonat, whose 25 locations under his command sold 21,642 used vehicles in 2010 exclusively with online advertising. Many dealers now are using software to craft online ads. Since more than 80 percent of all car shopping begins on the Internet, it's important that dealers have attractive, relevant ads that stand out, said eCarList CEO Len Critcher, whose company will release a new description-builder next month.
Source: Automotive News

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For more auto industry news, visit NADAFrontPage.com

Webinar April 6: 'How Does Your Dealership Measure Up?'
Join 20 Group Consultant Steve Emery April 6 at 1 p.m. as he discusses how to increase productivity by identifying daily goals for each department, manager and employee.

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Doug Frisbie, automotive strategist, Facebook, and Mike DeCecco, director of business development, Dealer.com, will provide insight into the new world of automotive marketing at the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum in New York April 19.

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Quotable
"We're going to get to a point this month where that gap in the pipeline starts to show up."

    -- Mike Goss, Toyota spokesman, adding that temporary shutdowns at its North American factories are likely to take place later this month because of parts shortages due to the earthquake that hit Japan, The Associated Press, April 4

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