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Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside This Issue
Confidence Over Autos Stays Firm
GM to Halve Vehicle Platforms, Build Cadillacs 'in Volume' in China
U.S. Auto Adviser Ron Bloom Will Leave White House Post
Car Dealers Turn Toward Social Media
Former Autoworker Philip Levine Is Named U.S. Poet Laureate
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Top 5 Stories
Confidence Over Autos Stays Firm

The auto industry isn't taking its foot off the gas in the wake of the turbulence on Wall Street, at least not yet. Auto makers, dealers and industry analysts are all still expecting the pace of new-car sales to pick up in the second half of the year, undeterred by recent stock-market gyrations. "The only question is the rate of the recovery in auto sales, not if there is going to be a recovery," Michael J. Jackson, chairman and chief executive of AutoNation Inc. ... Industry analysts also said auto sales are underpinned by good credit availability. Most consumers with good credit records have no trouble getting car loans right now — a key difference from two years ago, during the recession, when the lack of credit helped drive down auto sales. Many consumers also deferred purchases of new vehicles during the recession and are now shopping for new wheels to replace aging vehicles.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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GM to Halve Vehicle Platforms, Build Cadillacs 'in Volume' in China

Two years out of bankruptcy, the Detroit-based automaker wants to further streamline how it designs and builds vehicles around the world. The effort, GM's top executives told some 200 Wall Street investors and financial analysts at GM's Warren Tech Center on Tuesday, will lead to industry-leading profit margins in the long run. While it has shed jobs, brands and debt during bankruptcy, GM's executives admit the automaker continues to have an inefficient manufacturing network, weak supplier relations and too many variations in the types of engines and vehicle underpinnings it uses to build cars and trucks globally. In attempts to boost profitability, GM wants to cut the number of vehicle platforms by half over the next decade and consolidate the number of engines. That will help get products to the market faster, and reduce duplicate engineering and design for cars sold across the globe, said Mary Barra, GM's product chief.
Source: The Detroit News

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U.S. Auto Adviser Ron Bloom Will Leave White House Post

Ron Bloom, who helped oversee President Barack Obama’s auto-industry bailouts, is leaving his White House post. Bloom led the administration’s efforts to raise the fuel economy standard for cars and light trucks last month and helped coordinate the government bailouts of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC in 2009. The White House announced his resignation [Tuesday] in an e-mailed statement. Bloom will leave his post as Obama’s assistant for manufacturing policy at the end of this month to return home to suburban Pittsburgh. Obama didn’t immediately name a replacement.
Source: Bloomberg

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Car Dealers Turn Toward Social Media

Just a few years ago, John Pohlig might have hung up balloons and perhaps an inflatable gorilla outside this Honda dealership here to attract shoppers. Instead he's posting notes on Facebook and other social media sites. The effort is aimed at getting people to comment on what kind of car they're likely to drive on a vacation — and includes dangling the chance to win a free iPad in return for a "like" endorsement on Facebook. Four thousand "likes" later, and Scott Robinson Honda has a huge Facebook base. But can Pohlig, the dealer's marketing director, point to actual car sales from his activities? "No," he says. "But we're building relevance out there.
Source: USA Today

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Former Autoworker Philip Levine Is Named U.S. Poet Laureate

Philip Levine was not expecting to be the new poet laureate of the United States. “It just wasn’t something I thought I’d get,” he said, sounding a little amused by the whole thing. Levine, who has written 20 collections of poems, has already won just about every major writing award: a Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for “The Simple Truth,” a National Book Award in 1980 for “Ashes: Poems New and Old” and in 1991 for “What Work Is,” the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Frank O’Hara Prize, two Guggenheim Foundation fellowships ... the list goes on. Like most great triumphs, Levine’s achievement has a simple beginning. “What I found was a voice within myself that I didn’t know was there,” said Levine, now 83. “A joy in my being, in creation, in the physical world that surrounded me. Levine ... labored at industrial gigs in automobile manufacturing plants, such as Detroit Transmission and the Chevrolet Gear and Axle factory, while continuing to write poems in his off hours. His poetry taps into memories of his time on an assembly line, a sort of transcript of a life spent hard at work.
Source: The Washington Post

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More articles

Aug. 9, 2011 - Wall Street Turmoil Could Stall Car Industry Recovery

Aug. 8, 2011 - Cars Vs. Trucks: Are Buyers Really Downsizing?

Aug. 5, 2011 - GM Surpasses Toyota as World's Largest Automaker By Sales on Japan Quake

Aug. 4, 2011 - GM Profit Nearly Doubles on Strong Global Sales

Aug. 3, 2011 - Automakers Muster 1% Gain in Tough Month

 
Quotable
"It's marvelous to see parts of automobiles and other things in Detroit turned into a story that is partly mythological in its suggestion but based on very ordinary things that we all use and depend on."

   
-- James Billington, the librarian of Congress, who selected former autoworker Philip Levine to be the new U.S. poet laureate, The Washington Post, Aug. 10
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Convention News
Register Online Now for NADA's Vegas Convention

Registration is now open online for the 2012 NADA and ATD Convention and Expo, Feb. 3-6 in Las Vegas. The 2012 convention will mark the first time the NADA and ATD conventions will be held together. Dealers are urged to register early to take advantage of discounted pricing and reduced hotel rates. Click here to register.

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