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Friday, June 24, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Top 5 Stories
Vehicle Quality Trips Over Efforts to Add Fuel Economy, Multi-Media
Gas Prices Expected to Drop to $3.40 a Gallon by July 4
Used Gas Sippers, Keeping That New-Car Value
Nissan's Ghosn Sees Electric Car in Black by 2014
Fiat to Launch National Advertising Campaign
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Top 5 Stories
Vehicle Quality Trips Over Efforts to Add Fuel Economy, Multi-Media

Efforts by U.S. auto makers to improve fuel economy and give technology-hungry consumers more multimedia has led to a decline in the initial quality of newly launched vehicles, consultant J.D. Power & Associates says in an annual study. The good news is overall initial quality improved again this year, with problems per 100 vehicles dropping to 107 from 109 in 2010. The consultancy says 73,790 surveys were returned on 32 brands and 202 models. ... new models were the car companies' Achilles heel this year, with initial quality falling 10% to 122 PP100 from 111 in 2010. Blame efforts to dial up fuel economy through software tweaks to engines and transmissions and the acceleration of multi-media technology offerings such as hands-free and voice-activation systems.
Source: WardsAuto.com (Subscription required)

Related articles

 New Car Quality Takes a Hit Due to Technology (The Associated Press)
 Ford’s High-Tech Control System Hurts Ranking for Quality (The New York Times)
 Toyota Rebounds to Pre-Recall Level in U.S. J.D. Power Auto-Quality Survey (Bloomberg)

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Gas Prices Expected to Drop to $3.40 a Gallon by July 4

After facing $4 sticker shock at the pump for much of 2011, consumers are now likely to get a break by the July Fourth holiday weekend as gas prices fall to $3.40 or lower. Regular gasoline peaked at a national average of $3.98 a gallon in early May. Slumping demand has pushed the average to $3.61. Reserve sales could cut prices another 20 cents or more. "This packs a psychological punch that's going to lower pump prices, for sure," says industry analyst Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch & Associates. "This is a lift for both consumers and the economy."
Source: USA Today

Editor’s note: Lower gasoline prices over the upcoming summer months will provide car shoppers with more spendable income and instill confidence to get out and buy a car or truck that meets their household needs, says Paul Taylor, chief economist of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA). “Lower gasoline prices, wider availability of credit and new-car inventory rebuilding in July will result in a new vehicle sales increase during the second half of the year as consumers replace many record-old vehicles currently on the road,” Taylor said. “The drop in gasoline prices will help avoid a summer run on small cars and hybrids, both in short supply in the current market, as well as lead to increased sales of larger cars and light trucks. There are just 10 days of supply of the Toyota Prius hybrid and a 30 day supply of all small cars.” The overall shortage of new-car inventory has created some pent-up demand in May and June, which will boost auto sales over the late summer and into the fall selling season, he added.

Related article

  NADA Economist: New Car Sales Expected to Rise in July as Gas Prices Drop (NADA Newsroom)

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Used Gas Sippers, Keeping That New-Car Value

The rule of thumb says that a car loses at least 10 percent of its value the moment it leaves the dealership. But soaring used-car values are turning that formula on its head for many fuel-efficient vehicles, which are suddenly in high demand as Americans fret about escalating gas prices and do not want to pay for a new car. Compact cars that are one to five years old are worth, on average, about 30 percent more on the wholesale market now than just six months ago, the National Auto Auction Association reports. “You’re not going to find a better return than that on anything,” said Jonathan Banks, executive auto analyst for the used-car guide published by the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Source: The New York Times

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Nissan's Ghosn Sees Electric Car in Black by 2014

Nissan Motor Co.'s CEO said Friday the Japanese automaker's electric vehicle will become profitable within three years, adding he expects it to be one of the "most profitable" vehicles in Nissan's lineup. But the question of profitability has loomed large over the Leaf, which has relied on generous subsidies to lower the retail price. Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn said that the car would begin to pay off by 2014 and become one of Nissan's best investments. "Within three years, you'll see this will be one of the most profitable products and investments Nissan has ever made," Mr. Ghosn said in an interview Friday with The Wall Street Journal.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Fiat to Launch National Advertising Campaign

Fiat is preparing to launch it first national ad campaign. At the center of the campaign kickoff will be special events on July 4, the 54th anniversary of the original Fiat 500, said Laura Soave, head of Fiat North America. “We’re confident we can do a national launch and have the network in place to support the traffic,” said Soave, speaking at a media event [Thursday]. Soave declined to offer specifics about the campaign. Fiat has 70 dealers up and running in the United States. That’s more than half the 130 planned by year end.
Source: Automotive News

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More articles

June 23, 2011 - NADA Disagrees with Recommendations by Former EPA Administrators on Fuel Economy

June 22, 2011 - Ford Exec Says June Auto Sales Could Top May Levels

June 21, 2011 - Chrysler Gets Improved Marks from Consumer Reports

June 20, 2011 - Fuel Prices No Longer Trigger Hybrid Desire, Study Says

June 17, 2011 - Toyota Sees Full Production by Fall

 
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Quotable
"This is a lift for both consumers and the economy."

    -- Jim Ritterbusch, industry analyst of Ritterbusch & Associates, on the liklihood that gas prices will fall to $3.40 or lower by the July 4 holiday weekend, USA Today, June 23

Marketplace
NADA U Webinar: "Service Advisor Training for Enhanced Customer Retention," Wednesday, June 29 at 1 p.m. EDT

NADA U Webinar: "New Credit Score Disclosures for Adverse Action and Risk-Based Pricing Notices," Wednesday, July 6, 1-3 p.m. EDT

HP's Built-in Connectivity at Your Fingertips

Lenovo's June Savings

Foundation News
Boston Dealer Creates 'Family Ambassadors of Distinction'

NADA Foundation Program Reaches 500th Ambassador

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