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Tuesday, July 12, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside This Issue
Dealers Put More Muscle into F&I Training
GM to Sell Diesel Chevy Cruze in US
Volkswagen, Ford Lead in U.S. Auto Quality Survey
VW Aims for 8 Million in Sales
Ford Backs Proposed Nationwide Ban on Handheld Phone Use While Driving
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Top 5 Stories
Dealers Put More Muscle into F&I Training

If you feel the need to pump up the skills in your F&I office, you're not alone. Across the country, dealerships large and small are stepping up F&I training to offset shrinking profit margins on new vehicles and boost compliance with a growing list of regulations. Despite the economic downturn that forced dealers to reduce overhead, about three-fifths of the nearly 200 dealerships responding to a informal online Automotive News survey question last month said they have increased F&I training during the past five years, and 43 percent have increased spending to train F&I managers. Just over half said their main reason for doing F&I training is to sell more products while a third identified their main goal as getting into compliance. The National Automobile Dealers Association -- which has long partnered with Zurich to help train dealers in F&I compliance and best practices -- is seeing increased demand for overall training including F&I programs, says Les Abrams, an NADA Academy instructor.
Source: Automotive News

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GM to Sell Diesel Chevy Cruze in US

The Chevrolet Cruze, the most popular car in the U.S. last month, will come in a diesel version that could boost gas mileage to around 50 mpg, two people briefed on General Motors Co. product plans said Monday. The diesel Cruze won't hit showrooms until at least 2013, according to one of the people, both of whom asked not to be identified because the company hasn't made a formal announcement. GM sold about 25,000 Cruzes last month, vaulting the model past perennial leaders such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord to become the best-selling car in the U.S.
Source: The Associated Press

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Volkswagen, Ford Lead in U.S. Auto Quality Survey

Less than a month after Ford Motor Co. was pummeled in one quality survey, a second survey has ranked it the No. 2 highest-quality U.S. automaker. The second survey, released by Strategic Vision Inc. on Tuesday, said that customers' overall feeling about their vehicles is more important than particular problems. "People think of quality in a very different sense than just counting problems," said Christopher Chaney, a Strategic Vision vice president in charge of automotive research. Volkswagen was the top-ranked car company in the survey, helped by its Golf, Jetta and Tiguan models.
Source: Reuters

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VW Aims for 8 Million in Sales

Volkswagen AG sold more than four million vehicles world-wide in the first half of the year, Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn said Monday, adding that Europe's largest auto maker expects to reach the eight million threshold this year for the first time. Mr. Winterkorn said Volkswagen probably has to expand its dealership network in the U.S. to keep up with the planned expansion. Volkswagen aims to roughly triple its annual U.S. sales volume to one million vehicles by 2018, with the Audi luxury brand accounting for 200,000 cars.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Ford Backs Proposed Nationwide Ban on Handheld Phone Use While Driving

Ford is the first automaker to support a bill that would ban motorists nationwide from using handheld cell phones while driving. Pete Lawson, Ford's vice president of government affairs, said Monday that the legislation "represents a practical, commonsense approach to a national problem" and that the company believed "drawing drivers' eyes away from the road -- whether (by) text messaging, manually dialing a cell phone or reading maps -- substantially increases the risk of an accident or near misses." General Motors and Chrysler declined to comment Monday on McCarthy's legislation. Both automakers have previously supported other efforts to curb handheld phone use while driving.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Quotable
"We have a very strict set of policies and we expect perfection."

    -- Jeff Dyke, executive vice president of operations for Sonic Automotive, which requires its F&I managers and staff to take a Web-based basic F&I course annually, Automotive News, July 11

Events
NADA U Webinar: "Retail Leasing Rewards," Wednesday, July 13, from 1 to 2 p.m. EDT
Marketplace
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July Specials from Lenovo

Foundation News
NADA's Bruce Kelleher and Wife Honored as 'Family Ambassadors of Distinction'

Boston Dealer Creates 'Family Ambassadors of Distinction'


NADA Foundation Program Reaches 500th Ambassador
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