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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Top 5 Stories
GM's Akerson Pushing for Higher Gas Taxes
Ford Strategy Will Call for Stepping Up Expansion, Especially in Asia
Dealerships See Less Turnover of Sales Force
Chinese Begin Volvo Overhaul
Video: NADA Foundation Assists Tornado Victims
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Top 5 Stories
GM's Akerson Pushing for Higher Gas Taxes

General Motors Co. CEO Dan Akerson wants the federal gas tax boosted as much as $1 a gallon to nudge consumers toward more fuel-efficient cars ... And while he is eager to say goodbye to the government as a part owner of GM, Akerson would like to see it step up to the challenge of setting a higher gas tax, as part of a comprehensive energy policy. For the years 2017-25, federal officials are considering 3 percent to 6 percent annual fuel efficiency increases, or 47 mpg to 62 mpg. That could boost the cost of vehicles by up to $3,500. "You know what I'd rather have them do — this will make my Republican friends puke — as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas," Akerson said.
Source: The Detroit News

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Forget $4 Gasoline, Americans Buy Bigger Cars in May (Reuters)

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Ford Strategy Will Call for Stepping Up Expansion, Especially in Asia

Despite gloomy economic conditions and uncertain prospects for global auto sales, the Ford Motor Company is accelerating its expansion plans and setting high targets for international growth, particularly in Asia. Ford’s chief executive, Alan R. Mulally, is expected on Tuesday to unveil an aggressive strategy to increase the company’s worldwide sales to 8 million vehicles a year from 5.3 million by middecade. But Ford will be playing catch-up in Asia, where competitors like Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen have larger shares and better brand recognition. “Ford is trying to make up for lost time in Asia,” said Michael Robinet, director of global forecasting at the research firm IHS Automotive. “They have to do a lot of heavy lifting in the next decade to become a major player.”
Source: The New York Times

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Dealerships See Less Turnover of Sales Force

Franchised auto dealers have had a much easier time keeping their sales forces intact over the past two years, a national study shows. Average turnover for dealerships of all sizes was 34.4 percent in 2009 and 33.4 percent in 2010, the National Automobile Dealers Association reports. People are reluctant to leave their jobs during a time of high unemployment and economic uncertainty. The drop in housing values also tends to keep dealership salespeople from moving to other jobs. NADA recognizes dealers' struggles to keep sales force pay competitive as vehicle margins shrink. [Paul Taylor, NADA's chief economist] says the association is revamping its sales force compensation survey to provide data that dealers can use to develop competitive pay plans.
Source: Automotive News

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Chinese Begin Volvo Overhaul

When Volvo Car Corp. debuted its newest design recently, it turned heads with an edgy look that departed from the staid style that has been its hallmark. The car represents a compromise between competing visions of Volvo's future. On one side is Volvo's European chief executive, Stefan Jacoby, and on the other, the company's hard-charging new Chinese owner, Li Shufu. In the nearly 10 months since the acquisition was completed, Mr. Jacoby and Mr. Li have worked to reconcile their visions and differing management styles to chart a course for a Volvo revival.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Video: NADA Foundation Assists Tornado Victims

Dealership employees affected by the recent natural disasters in the Midwest and South are receiving financial assistance from the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation. "We've been very active," says Bruce Kelleher, NADA executive vice president. "We've already sent checks to dealers in Iowa and Alabama to present to their employees." Since 1992, the foundation's Emergency Relief Fund has contributed more than $5 million to nearly 6,500 dealership employees victimized by natural disasters. "In letters and phone calls we're receiving, dealers and their employees are telling us that they're so grateful for receiving financial assistance," Kelleher added. "They're just so appreciative that the foundation is there to provide some help and relief." Dealership employees who experience financial hardships caused by natural disasters can contact the foundation at (800) 252-7233 to apply for assistance.
Source: NADA-TV

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Quotable
"You know what I'd rather have them do — this will make my Republican friends puke — as gas is going to go down here now, we ought to just slap a 50-cent or a dollar tax on a gallon of gas."

    -- General Motors Co. CEO Dan Akerson, who said he wants the federal gas tax boosted as much as $1 a gallon to nudge consumers toward more fuel-efficient cars, The Detroit News, June 7

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Webinar: “Dealership Valuation for Estate and Succession Planning,” June 16, at 1 pm (Eastern)

Dealer Executive Education at Babson College August 2011 Class Forming Now

HP's Built-in Connectivity at Your Fingertips

Lenovo's June Savings

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