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Top 5 Stories
Gas Prices Aid April Car Sales
Toyota Warns of Summer Sales Slowdown
Automakers Reduce U.S. Incentives in April to Five-Year Low
House GOP Set to Move Ahead with Legislation to Limit New Consumer Bureau
Nissan Beats Ford to Win 10-year Contract to Supply NYC Taxis
Top 5 Stories
Gas Prices Aid April Car Sales

General Motors Co., Hyundai Motors Co. and several other auto makers reported big gains in U.S. new-vehicle sales for April as a recovering economy and high fuel prices spurred demand for small cars. Overall, new-vehicles sales rose 18% to 1,157,794 cars and light trucks, according to researcher Autodata Corp. April's annualized sales were 13.2 million vehicles, up 900,000 from six months ago and nearly 2 million from a year ago. GM's sales rose 27%, Hyundai's 40% and Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC also reported sizable increases. Earl Stewart, owner of Earl Stewart Toyota of North Palm Beach, Fla., said his dealership's sales were fairly good in April, but he had hardly any Prius hybrids on his lot for most of the month. Like other dealers, Mr. Stewart fears the shortages of vehicles is only beginning. "We are probably going to have an OK May and then the wheels are going to come off in June, July and August," he said. "It's going to be grim."
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Toyota Warns of Summer Sales Slowdown

LOS ANGELES -- Toyota executives expect U.S. sales to trail 2010 levels in the coming months as earthquake-related production cuts take a toll on the automaker's vehicle supplies. American factories at about 30 percent of normal levels through at least June 3. Plants in Japan will produce vehicles at about half their normal rates. "It's safe to say as we experience another month of limited production in the month of May that clearly our sales will be impacted," Randy Pflughaupt, Toyota group vice president of sales administration, said in a conference call today after the automaker posted the industry's smallest U.S. sales increase. Toyota executives declined to forecast the extent of any sales declines. "What's unknown is what level of production we'll be seeing following June 3 and that will then drive more of the balance of the summer's potential volumes," Pflughaupt said.
Source: Automotive News

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Automakers Reduce U.S. Incentives in April to Five-Year Low

Automakers reduced spending on discounts and incentives for U.S. customers in April by 14 percent to an average $2,320 per vehicle, the lowest in more than five years, as sales climbed. Ford Motor Co.’s average spending on discounts and promotions declined 20 percent from a year earlier to $2,399, Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based Autodata Corp. said yesterday. Chrysler Group LLC lowered spending 23 percent to $2,806. General Motors Co. reduced incentives by $272, or 8.1 percent from a year earlier, to an estimated $3,068 per vehicle. Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, reduced spending $60, or 3.1 percent, to an estimated $1,885 per unit, Autodata said.
Source: Bloomberg

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House GOP Set to Move Ahead with Legislation to Limit New Consumer Bureau

The political tug of war over the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will enter another round Wednesday, when House Republicans forge ahead with legislation aimed at curbing the fledgling watchdog’s powers even before it officially opens its doors in July. The House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to vote on a trio of GOP-backed bills, each of which encapsulates arguments that have lingered since Congress created the consumer regulator last year. One bill, sponsored by the committee’s chairman, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), would replace the bureau’s independent director position with a five-member commission. Another bill, sponsored by Rep. Sean P. Duffy (R-Wis.), would make it easier for fellow regulators to veto rules written by the bureau. Even if the bills up for review clear the Republican-led House, the likelihood they ever would become law remains slim. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), chairman of the Banking Committee, has shown no inclination to roll back key provisions of the landmark legislation. And any such bill also would have to get past a potential veto from President Obama, who made the consumer bureau a central part of his efforts to overhaul financial regulation.
Source: The Washington Post

Editor's note: As a result of the Brownback/Campbell dealer exclusion passed last year, the CFPB does not have direct authority over dealers but will have an impact on lenders. The CFPB should be subject to the same Congressional oversight as virtually all other government agencies and, like other independent agencies, should be governed by a bi-partisan multi-member commission.

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Nissan Beats Ford to Win 10-year Contract to Supply NYC Taxis

Deal nets U.S. dealers a new small commercial van

NASHVILLE -- Nissan North America has beat out Ford Motor Co. to win a 10-year contract to supply small commercial vans to New York City for its entire taxi cab fleet starting in 2013. Nissan's bid also topped a small Turkish competitor, Karsan Otomotiv Sanayii Ve Ticaret AS, for the 13,000-vehicle deal, Nissan said in a statement [Tuesday]. Although 13,000 units is a relatively meager volume for mass producers such as Nissan and Ford, Nissan plans to use the taxi deal to launch other product plans, including a new small commercial van for the United States. To supply taxis to New York, Nissan will produce the NV200 in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and also prepare a version of the vehicle for Nissan's U.S. retailers, [Nissan Americas Chairman Carlos] Tavares said. In addition, Nissan intends to build an electric version of the NV200 -- including an electric New York taxi -- for the United States.
Source: Automotive News

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For comprehensive auto industry news, visit the online news magazine NADAFrontPage.com

NADA Used Car Guide Redesigns Website
Follow along as editors of the NADA Used Car Guide blog about changes in the used-car and -truck markets on the guide's revamped website, www.nada.com/b2b.

Enroll Now for Spring Dealer Academy 2011 Classes
Spring 2011 classes include: Dealer Candidate Academy, starting May 9 and June 6; and General Dealership Management Academy, starting May 16.

Dealer Executive Education at Babson College August 2011 Class Forming Now
Babson College has the nation's No. 1 ranked MBA program for entrepreneurship, a distinction it has earned for 17 consecutive years.

May Discounts From Lenovo
NADA members can use eCoupon USXMAYSAVINGS2011 at checkout to get an additional 8% off IdeaPad Y Series and an additional 10% off IdeaCentre All in One Desktops.

HP's Inventory Blowout
NADA members can save $330 on HP's Compaq 6005 Pro Small Form Factor Desktop PC and $440 on HP's Compaq 800 Elite Small Form Factor PC with free U.S. ground shipping.

 
Quotable
"Dealers were telling us they were selling them right off of the convoy truck."

    -- Ken Czubay, Ford's head of U.S. sales and marketing, referring to the high demand for the Focus as consumers flocked to smaller cars in response to higher fuel prices, The New York Times, May 3

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NADA University

 

Wednesday, May 11, at 1 p.m. (Eastern): “Rein in Out-of-Control Technology Costs,” with Paul R. MacDonald, president of TriMac Automotive Advisory Group

Wednesday, May 18, at 1 p.m. (Eastern): “One-Price Selling: In Sync with Today’s Auto Purchasers,” presented by Mark Rikess, CEO of The Rikess Group


NADA Used Car Guide

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Alert: Bogus Webpage Mimics NADAguides.com

A bogus website, http://nadaguides.zxq.net
/vehicle/purchase/protection
, has been set up to look like the legitimate website of NADAguides.com. The fraudulent Web page offers services for “Auto Purchase Protection” and facilitates the transfer of funds between buyers and sellers. This Webpage has no connection with NADA or NADAguides.com. NADA is attempting to shut down the site. It appears to be hosted overseas.
Source: NADA Legal Affairs

 
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