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Top 5 Stories
GM's Profit Triples
With Supplies Dwindling, Some Honda Dealers Foresee Long, Dry Summer
Fearing Shortages, Car Buyers Shop Early
GM's New 2011 Model Recalls Include Cruze
Automakers Going Bug-Eyed Over LEDs
Top 5 Stories
GM's Profit Triples

DETROIT—General Motors Co. said Thursday its net income tripled in the first quarter due to stronger vehicle sales and sales of assets, including its stake in Delphi Automotive LLP. GM said net income rose to $3.2 billion, or $1.77 a share, from $865 million or 55 cents a share, beating analyst estimates of about 93 cents a share. Operating profit, reflecting the strength of its core automotive business, increased to $2 billion from $1.7 billion. "This is a sold quarter. It puts us in the position of not having to worry about the balance sheet or about being able to invest in new products," finance chief Daniel Ammann said Thursday. For the first time in years, all three Detroit auto makers are profitable. Chrysler Group LLC made $116 million in the first quarter.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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With Supplies Dwindling, Some Honda Dealers Foresee Long, Dry Summer

As it works to restore production capacity lost after the earthquake in Japan, Honda announced delivery delays this week of some of its most popular and fuel-efficient models built in Japan, including the Insight, the Fit and the redesigned Civic Hybrid. Some Honda dealers, however, are already feeling an inventory pinch. “We knew this was coming. Most dealers around the country would tell you the same,” said Carl Bellizia, owner of Cambridge Honda in Cambridge, Mass., of this week’s announcement. “It’s an unprecedented disaster, and Honda has done a marvelous job of communicating to the dealers. And we understand they cannot make guarantees.”
Source: The New York Times

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Fearing Shortages, Car Buyers Shop Early

Quake still affects Japanese brands

Buyers worried about summer vehicle shortages are visiting dealerships earlier than they had planned, dealers say, to get the cars they want. The Japan earthquake is on peoples’ minds, said Adam Skolnick, general manager at Toyota Scion Watertown in Massachusetts. “There is more of a sense of urgency because they don’t want to be left without a vehicle,’’ he said. The crisis in Japan has not yet translated into a shortage of most cars and trucks on US dealers’ lots. Prices are inching up on some brands and models, including Mazda, Toyota, and Honda. For now, there is in many cases a two-month inventory of many models. Despite talk of shortages, dealers say they are not worried. “I’ve been doing this for 40 years … and we’ve never run out of cars,’’ said Dawson Grimley, president of Davis-Moore Nissan in Wichita, Kan.
Source: The Boston Globe

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GM's New 2011 Model Recalls Include Cruze

Hot-selling compact may have installation issues; vans, pickups called back

WASHINGTON — General Motors Co. issued three new recalls Wednesday for 2011 models, including calling back 154,112 of its hot-selling 2011 Chevrolet Cruze sedans in North America to inspect for proper installation of two components. GM said it will inspect the compact cars for proper installation of the intermediate steering shaft covers. Of that group, it also will inspect 120,295 Cruzes with automatic transmissions to make sure the shift linkage was properly installed. Unsold vehicles on dealer lots will be inspected before they are sold. GM doesn't expect dealers will need to fix the vast majority of recalled vehicles, spokesman Alan Adler said.
Source: The Detroit News

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Automakers Going Bug-Eyed Over LEDs

NEW YORK — Those twinkling lights on the fronts of luxury cars are starting to find their way into the mainstream. High-end brands, led by Audi a few years ago, were first to distinguish the look of their cars with strings of small light-emitting-diodes — LEDs — next to the headlights. As costs for the lights are coming down, they are showing up on moderately priced and even entry-level new models. Designers see LEDs as a way to give lower-priced models a more upscale look. "It's one of those little surprises," says Kia's chief U.S. designer, Thomas Kearn, whose Irvine, Calif., studio designed the new Rio. "It's usually associated with higher-end luxury cars."
Source: USA Today

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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,

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.

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HP's Inventory Blowout
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"I've been doing this for 40 years ... and we've never run out of cars."

    -- Dawson Grimley, president of Davis-Moore Nissan in Wichita, Kan., who says he's not worried about summer vehicle shortages resulting from the earthquake in Japan, The Boston Globe, May 3

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