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Top 5 Stories
Auto Industry Sets Its Sights On The Big Apple
Toyota Resumes Production at All Japan Plants
'Consumer Reports:' Most Won't Buy Smaller Cars
Dealers Hunt for Costly Used Cars
ATD Chairman Highlights 5 Factors Indicating That Commercial Truck Retailing is Improving
Top 5 Stories
Auto Industry Sets Its Sights On The Big Apple

From an all new Chevy Malibu to a totally updated version of the new Volkswagen Beetle, car enthusiasts will be keeping a close eye on this week’s New York Auto Show. “New York does seem to be a higher content show,” says Aaron Bragman, an analyst with IHS Automotive. “We’re hoping that’s the start of a trend. Hopefully, the automakers have some money now to really start introducing new models, showing us some new concepts, and getting people back interested in going to the showroom and the shows.” With sales slowly recovering the past few months, auto companies are hoping that the variety of new products at the New York show will get people back into the mood to buy a vehicle.  On Tuesday, we’ll hear an update from Toyota brand chief Bob Carter, as he appears at an annual conference sponsored by IHS Automotive and the National Automobile Dealers Association. GM CEO Dan Akerson will keynote that conference, which will also feature forecasts from IHS Automotive’s analysts and consultants.
Source: CBS Detroit/WWJ

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Toyota Resumes Production at All Japan Plants

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. resumed car production at all of its plants in Japan Monday for the first time since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, but said the factories will run at half capacity due to parts shortages. The world's No. 1 automaker said it was still struggling to secure around 150 types of auto parts. The magnitude-9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami destroyed parts factories in northeastern Japan, causing severe shortages of components. The twin disasters forced Toyota to shut down all output in Japan except at three plants, which have been running at limited capacity since late March and early April to produce hot-selling Prius, Lexus and Corolla cars. The 900 workers at Toyota's auto plant in Miyagi, one of the worst-hit areas in the disasters, observed a minute's silence for tsunami victims before starting work Monday. Toru Kuzuhara, president of Toyota subsidiary Central Motor Co. Ltd., which operates the Miyagi plant, said he hoped the resumption of auto production would help spur reconstruction efforts in the tsunami-battered region. "We will make top-quality cars and deliver them to many customers as early as possible. I believe this will lead to broader reconstruction efforts in Miyagi," he said.
Source: The Associated Press

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'Consumer Reports:' Most Won't Buy Smaller Cars

Most Americans -- 56% -- say their next new vehicles will be about the same size as what they drive now, not smaller, according to a new survey by Consumer Reports magazine. That's despite near-record fuel prices, a sluggish economic recovery that's left some people still unemployed or underemployed and a lot of attention and marketing push on small vehicles. In fact, another 19% say they'll upsize, often those 18 to 34 years old whose careers are rising or who need something bigger because they're starting or enlarging families. One-fourth of those surveyed said they would get smaller vehicles next time, hoping for better mileage, lower costs, improved reliability and some ecological benefits.
Source: USA Today

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Dealers Hunt for Costly Used Cars

Since the earthquake in Japan, used-vehicle prices have become so volatile that price experts are scrambling to keep up. Dealers, anticipating new-car shortages, are going beyond usual channels to stock used cars, often paying more for those vehicles and then worrying about having shelled out too much. The recession led to a shortage of used vehicles, and when demand rose as credit eased for used-car customers, prices soared. Then the quake struck. NADA Used Car Guide predicts that with incentives scheduled to expire and some automakers announcing sticker-price increases, average transaction prices on new compact cars such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus will climb about $850 by the end of June. Jonathan Banks, senior director of editorial and data services at NADA Used Car Guide, says prices of compact cars typically are flat from March to April, but the price of that 2010 Corolla rose another $422, to $13,503, in the first two weeks of this month. He believes the industry will see high prices for much of this year.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: Banks is scheduled to deliver a presentation on the used-vehicle market at the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum in New York on Tuesday, April 19. The New York International Auto Show is hosting the forum. For more information, visit www.autoforumny.com.

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ATD Chairman Highlights 5 Factors Indicating That Commercial Truck Retailing is Improving

PHOENIX – After enduring a global economic downturn and diminished sales over the past couple years, the nation’s commercial truck dealers are eagerly waiting to get “back to normal” and setting their sights on the legislative and regulatory challenges ahead, said Kyle Treadway, chairman of the American Truck Dealers.  “It’s appropriate that we’re meeting in Phoenix—the city named after a mythical bird that rises from the ashes to begin life anew,” said Treadway in remarks April 16 at the 48th annual ATD Convention and Expo, which runs through today at the Phoenix Convention Center. “Our industry has taken many punches,” added Treadway, a third-generation dealer and president of Kenworth Sales Co. in Salt Lake City. “In addition to the economic downturn, we’ve had to weather a series of regulatory changes that magnified the ups and downs of our already cyclical business.” Treadway highlighted five sectors of commercial truck retailing that indicate an economic recovery is underway for 2011:

  • 1. Freight volumes are rising.
  • 2. Used-truck demand is boosting prices.
  • 3. Parts and service business is improving.
  • 4. Truck rental and leasing defies seasonal declines.
  • 5. New-truck orders are increasing.

Source: NADA-ATD Public Affairs

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For more auto industry news, visit NADAFrontPage.com

SBA and Agility Recovery Solutions Host Webinar on Post-Disaster Leadership Strategies
Join Agility Recovery Solutions and the U.S. Small Business Administration on Tuesday, April 19, for a discussion on becoming a more resilient leader through a disaster that could destroy the company.

Analysts to Discuss Implications of Japan Supply Disruptions at Automotive Forum April 19
Economists will discuss the impact that high oil prices and the disaster in Japan are having on automotive markets during the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum in New York April 19.

SAVE on HP's ProBook 4520s Notebook PC
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Quotable
"Finally, we can operate our plant. I am so relieved that we can get back to work for the first time since the tsunami."

   
-- Yasuhiro Tadokoro, an official at Toyota's auto plant in Miyagi, which was one of the worst-hit areas in the disasters, The Associated Press, April 18
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