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Top 5 Stories
Akerson: Nearly Three-Quarters of GM Dealers are Renovating Stores
Toyota May Shift U.S. Sales Goals Due to Japan
Economist: Rebound to Continue Despite Oil Prices
GM to Raise Car Prices Due to Oil, Metal Costs
Ford Said to Have Cut 20% of Metropolitan Lincoln Dealerships
Top 5 Stories
Akerson: Nearly Three-Quarters of GM Dealers are Renovating Stores

Dan Akerson, CEO of General Motors Co., addresses the
audience at the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum in New York.

NEW YORK -- Nearly three-quarters of General Motors dealers will have started or completed store makeovers by year end, GM CEO Dan Akerson said today. Akerson said better customer throughput and higher profits are allowing more GM dealers to spend on their stores. "This represents a huge investment by GM and our dealers to improve their dealerships and make them more appealing to customers," Akerson said during a keynote address at an event sponsored by the National Automobile Dealers Association and IHS Automotive a day before the New York auto show's media preview. GM is asking its dealers to meet facilities standards under its Essential Brand Elements incentive program, which was introduced about 18 months ago. Dealers who agree to improve their stores get quarterly cash payments that can be as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars for larger dealerships.
Source: Automotive News

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Toyota May Shift U.S. Sales Goals Due to Japan

Toyota Motor Co. may have to change its U.S. sales targets because of production slowdowns in Japan and North America, the U.S. sales chief of the world's largest automaker said on Tuesday. But the company was still watching developments in Japan closely, and more answers will emerge in the next few weeks, Toyota's Bob Carter said at the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum. Last week Carter told Toyota's U.S. dealers in a memo that the uncertainty in the supply of parts from Japan could threaten the company's output of vehicles through July.
Source: Reuters

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Economist: Rebound to Continue Despite Oil Prices

NEW YORK – Even with the double shock of the Japanese earthquake and rising oil prices, both the U.S. economy and the global economy should continue to recover, Nariman Behravesh, chief economist for IHS Global Insight said today. Behravesh said today he expects the nation’s gross domestic product to grow about 3% this year even with the dual economic impact. “Our view is that we should be able to do fairly well in this environment and there is nothing that says we get derailed,” Behravesh said today at [the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum] in advance of the New York Auto Show, which opens to the media on Wednesday.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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GM to Raise Car Prices Due to Oil, Metal Costs

DETROIT -- General Motors Co. said Monday it will raise car and truck prices by an average of $123 per vehicle to make up for its increased oil and metal costs. The company is the third major automaker to raise prices in the past three weeks because of higher costs, signaling that the surge in crude is starting to affect car prices for consumers. Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. both announced price increases in March and early April. The GM increases, which affect nearly all Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC models, will go into effect in the U.S. starting May 2. The higher prices are limited to the United States, spokesman Tom Henderson said.
Source: The Associated Press

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Ford Said to Have Cut 20% of Metropolitan Lincoln Dealerships

Ford Motor Co. has cut about 20 percent of its metropolitan Lincoln dealerships in the past six months as it seeks to revive its luxury line and boost sales at the remaining stores, said a person familiar with the situation. The automaker now has about 400 Lincoln dealers in the nation’s top 130 metropolitan markets, said the person, who asked not to be identified revealing internal data. Ford told Lincoln dealers in October that it planned to eliminate 175 of its 500 metro Lincoln outlets.
Source: Bloomberg

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"If dealers aren't our true partners, how can we ever succeed in the market."

-- GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson at the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum in New York City, April 19
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