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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside This Issue
Strong Autos Drove July Factory Orders Up 2.4%
Consumers Gloomy but Their Spending Says Otherwise
Japan Carmakers Boost Production 'Like We Never Have Before' After Quake
National Labor Relations Board Issues New Poster Rule
Opinion: Frankfurt Show to Push Electric Cars; Survey Shows Battery Apathy
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Top 5 Stories
Strong Autos Drove July Factory Orders Up 2.4%

U.S. factory orders rose strongly in July on the biggest jump in demand for autos in more than eight years ... The increase suggests supply chain disruptions created by the Japan crisis are easing. Factory orders climbed 2.4 percent, the largest increase since March, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Orders for motor vehicles and parts rose 9.8 percent, the largest one-month gain since January 2003. Manufacturing has been one of the leading sectors since the recession officially ended two years ago. But higher energy prices and a parts shortage caused by the Japanese natural disasters slowed activity this spring. A handful of reports showed that growth picked up at the start July-September quarter.
Source: The Associated Press

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Consumers Gloomy but Their Spending Says Otherwise

Economists have advice for anyone worried that consumers are too fearful to keep spending: Look at what they're doing, not what they're saying. A survey of consumer confidence shows that Americans were spooked early this month by the standoff over the debt ceiling, a downgrade of U.S. long-term debt and a swoon in stock prices. But maybe only temporarily. If stock prices stay steady, consumers will likely keep spending, and the economy should improve modestly in the months ahead, economists say. Some evidence for that can be found in the survey results themselves. As anxious as consumers said they were about the future, the survey showed that, compared with July, more of them planned to buy a car or major appliance within six months.
Source: The Associated Press

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Japan Carmakers Boost Production 'Like We Never Have Before' After Quake

Japanese carmakers are boosting production “like we never have before” as they recover faster than expected from the March 11 earthquake, the head of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said today. Automakers are trying to compensate for production lost between March and May, and plan to manage the supply chain better in the future so they can maintain the “just-in-time delivery method” that is Japan’s strength, Toshiyuki Shiga said in Tokyo today. “When I spoke with actual dealers, I didn’t feel like global economic growth was slowing down,” Shiga said. “They were telling me how they were still short of inventory, and I think it’s too early to start worrying about an over-supply.”
Source: Bloomberg

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National Labor Relations Board Issues New Poster Rule

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Tuesday published a new mandate requiring all businesses covered by the National Labor Relations Act—including dealerships—to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the Act. Dealerships have until Nov. 14, 2011, to post the notice in a place where federal labor posters are normally displayed. Dealerships that also post such notices on an employee webpage must display the new NLRB notice there as well. On or about Nov. 1, the 11- by 17-inch notice will be downloadable from the NLRB’s website and available from NLRB regional offices. Along with a broad spectrum of other employer organizations, NADA actively and strongly objected to this new poster as being, among other things, outside of the NLRB’s statutory authority. Note that a failure to display the poster likely will be deemed an unfair labor practice by the NLRB. If you have any questions, contact NADA Regulatory Affairs at (703) 821-7040 or regulatoryaffairs@nada.org.
Source: NADA Regulatory Affairs

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Opinion: Frankfurt Show to Push Electric Cars; Survey Shows Battery Apathy
By Neil Winton

Hundreds of thousands of Germans are expected to throng by the exhibits at the biennial Frankfurt Auto Show next month and most manufacturers will be showing their latest ideas on electric cars as well as their most exciting new conventional machines. All the world's big automobile manufacturers are spending huge amounts of capital on new ideas for power plants that either eliminate or economize on the use of fossil fuels. The trouble is car buyers aren't cooperating. Car buyers see vehicles that cost about twice as much as they should, and which go about a quarter of the distance they want. A recent survey in Germany by technology consultancy Gartner Group showed just how high the barrier manufacturers must climb if consumers are willingly going to buy battery cars. Most Germans see the price of battery-only vehicles as too high, cost savings as too low, and range anxiety as a given, the report said. According to Boston Consulting Group, a typical 20 kilowatt hour battery will still cost about $10,000 by 2020. Big improvements in the efficiency of internal combustion engines is likely to add only about $2,000 to the cost of a vehicle, so unless gasoline prices rocket, battery vehicles, hybrids and range-extenders are unlikely to be competitive, BCG has said.
Source: The Detroit News

Editor's note: Neil Winton, European columnist for Autos Insider, is based in Sussex, England.

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More articles

Aug. 30, 2011 - East Coast Dealerships Relieved, Wary After Hurricane Irene

Aug. 29, 2011 - NADA Study Crunches Numbers on Store Renovations

Aug. 26, 2011 - NADA Calls for Nominees for 'Hiring Our Heroes' Award

Aug. 25, 2011 - New Car Dealerships Increase in U.S.

Aug. 24, 2011 - Autos, Aircraft Lifted July Durable Goods Orders

 
Quotable
"All the automakers are boosting production like we never have before, and suppliers are preparing for expanding production in the second half as well."

   
-- Toshiyuki Shiga, head of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, says production is gradually recovering from disruptions caused by the March 11 quake and tsunami, Bloomberg, Aug. 31
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Convention News
Las Vegas Hotel Rooms Selling Out Fast; Register Today

The Encore at Wynn and the Wynn, two hotels in NADA's housing block for the 2012 convention in Las Vegas, have already sold out. Rooms in the popular Bellagio are going fast. Register today to reserve a room in the 12 remaining hotels, including Treasure Island, a high-energy resort featuring elegant sleeping rooms and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Las Vegas strip. Convention registration is now open online.

Foundation News
NADA Foundation Program Reaches 500th Ambassador
Marketplace
NADA 20 Groups for Fixed Ops Managers Meeting this Fall; Controllers/CFO Groups Now Forming

NADA 20 Groups for Fixed Ops Managers focus on service, parts, and body shops issues. Dedicated fixed operations professionals from similar volume, non-competing dealerships use their combined experience, the best-in-class financial composite and knowledgeable consultants to tackle the issues that are most important to fixed operations. Call Diane Carnovsky, 20 Group Sales Manager, at 703.749.4744 to reserve a spot.

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Super Savings from Lenovo

 
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