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Top 5 Stories
Chrysler Has Deal to Repay Gov't Loans
Japan Produces Autos Over Weekend in Power Crunch
FTC Finds Broad Dealership Compliance with Consumer-Protection Rule
Weary Dealers Could Finally See Relief from Rising Gas Prices, Tight Fuel-Efficient Inventory
Study: Car Shoppers Influenced Most by TV Advertising
Click here for NADA's online newsroom at NADAFrontPage.com.
Top 5 Stories
Chrysler Has Deal to Repay Gov't Loans
The Associated Press

DETROIT -- Chrysler is close to repaying its government bailouts. The company has lined up investors to help it refinance $7.5 billion in loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments, three people briefed on the matter said Wednesday. Details of the financing package are still being worked out and are scheduled to be finalized Thursday morning, the people said. It's likely that the money will change hands and the government debt will be repaid on Tuesday, said two of the people, all of whom asked not to be identified because negotiations are ongoing.

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Japan Produces Autos Over Weekend in Power Crunch
The Associated Press

TOKYO -- Japanese automakers are going to be producing cars over the weekend and taking Thursday and Friday off to avoid blackouts from a power crunch caused by problem nuclear reactors. Toshiyuki Shiga, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and chief operating officer of Nissan Motor Co., told reporters Thursday the plan, which includes auto-parts suppliers, kicks in July, August and September - the peak months for electricity use in Japan. "We need to respond with a sense of crisis to the power shortage," said Shiga, who was not wearing a tie in attire now called "super cool biz." The practice, a notch above the regular summer month "cool biz," encourages the usually dark-suited "salaryman" to don Aloha shirts and other casual wear as thermostats are being set higher in office buildings to conserve energy.

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FTC Finds Broad Dealership Compliance with Consumer-Protection Rule
Automotive News

WASHINGTON -- All 50 or so dealerships reviewed by a federal agency are properly notifying customers that they can sue the banks that provide their loans if problems arise with their new vehicles, the Federal Trade Commission said. The FTC said [Tuesday] its review found "broad compliance" with an agency rule that seeks to protect customers who have problems with their vehicles or with vehicle maintenance. The National Automobile Dealers Association said the findings highlight the "significant push within the industry to frequently and thoroughly train dealership employees on ethics, regulatory compliance and the value of transparency and professionalism." The findings also "underscore the positive efforts dealers have made to develop a vehicle financing process that is fair, efficient and competitive," NADA spokesman Bailey Wood added.

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Weary Dealers Could Finally See Relief from Rising Gas Prices, Tight Fuel-Efficient Inventory
Auto Remarketing

Maybe only in 2008 have used-car managers faced so many inventory challenges at the same time — spiking fuel costs and wholesale prices creating major headaches about how to find units that will turn. Some welcomed relief might be ahead soon according to NADA Used Car Guide. In addition to the increases observed between March and April, the firm anticipates that prices will increase by approximately 3 percent to 5 percent through June relative to April levels. "Auction prices collected during the first two weeks of May have shown relatively small movements compared to the past two months,” [executive automotive analyst Jonathan Banks] shared. “When coupled with the apparent slowdown in oil prices, we should see less volatile behavior on a segment basis going forward."

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Study: Car Shoppers Influenced Most by TV Advertising
NADAFrontPage.com

NEW YORK -- A recent survey looked at the impact of how advertising in different media influences the purchasing decisions of consumers in 11 product and service categories, including automotive retailing. The study, conducted by TVB and Futures Company, showed that the overall impact of advertising depends on the product category and where the consumer is in the "purchase funnel," ranging from Awareness, Consideration, Preference to Purchase. According to the TVB, television is still king among the growing list of advertising platforms used by dealerships.

Editor's note: For more analysis of advertising trends and the "purchasing funnel," click here to visit the TVB's Website. Also, NADA members are invited to participate in a free Webinar Friday, May 20, at 11:30 a.m. (Eastern) on how dealers and their local broadcast stations can work together to address consumers' concerns about rising gas prices and the aftermath of the Japan earthquake. To participate in this Webinar, contact your local broadcast station. TVB-member stations are listed on the TVB Website.

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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.

 
NADAFrontPage.com
For comprehensive auto industry news, visit the online news magazine NADAFrontPage.com.
Quotable
"We need to respond with a sense of crisis to the power shortage."

    -- Toshiyuki Shiga, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, referring to the plan to produce cars on weekends to avoid weekday blackouts from a power crunch, The Associated Press, May 19

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