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Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside This Issue
Carmakers to Report August Sales
Consumer Confidence is Sales Wild Card
Lincoln Nears Milestone
Dealership Acquisitions on the Rise, Study Says
Fiat Might Shift Jeep, Alfa Romeo SUV Production To US
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Top 5 Stories
Carmakers to Report August Sales

A volatile stock market and a hurricane are likely to have hurt car sales, but pent-up demand and aging cars have buyers in the showrooms. Paul Taylor is chief economist at the National Automobile Dealers Association. He says Americans aren't in a hurry to buy, but their cars are getting old. That's driving a lot of customers in, based on need, even though they remain skeptical of an economy that's not fully meeting their expectations, he said. Used car prices are up, which Taylor says is helping new car sales -- because used cars are so expensive now, a lot of people figure they might as well buy new. Taylor ... thinks dealers will be sweetening incentives to build sales momentum through the rest of the year.
Source: Marketplace

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Consumer Confidence is Sales Wild Card

Greater availability of credit -- along with pent-up demand and the potential for higher incentives -- should boost car sales in the next two months, says credit bureau TransUnion Corp. The wild card is consumer confidence, said Peter Turek, automotive vice president in the financial services business unit for Chicago-based TransUnion. "If consumer confidence can stay on an even keel, the next 60 days could shape up to be a good selling season," he said. "I think we're going to see more incentive spending ... and there's plenty of credit availability."
Source: Automotive News

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Lincoln Nears Milestone

Ford's reinvention of the Lincoln brand passes an important milestone this week in the effort to compete more effectively with BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Cadillac. In October 2010, Mark Fields, Ford president of the Americas, said Lincoln would reduce the number of dealers in the 130 largest metropolitan markets from 434 to about 325 by the end of this year. Those that survive pledged to make certain commitments as of Thursday. Upgrading both the selection of vehicles and the Lincoln customer experience gained urgency after Ford phased out its 71-year-old Mercury brand last year. While Lincoln's U.S. sales increased 40% in July from a year earlier, the brand's sales through the first seven months of 2011 rose just 1% to 49,817. That's less than half what BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus each sold in the same period. The key will be the seven new or significantly freshened models Lincoln plans to launch over the next three years, including a new MKZ sedan next year.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Dealership Acquisitions on the Rise, Study Says

Dealership acquisitions are rising sharply after a lull during the recession and credit crisis, a study says. Public and privately held dealership groups alike are buying more stores, and private equity groups also are in the market, says the Presidio Group, a San Francisco consultant to buyers and sellers of dealerships. "We expect the auto retail market to continue to grow for at least the next five years and dealership acquisition activity to continue at a brisk pace," said Alan Haig, a managing director of Presidio, in the report. Potential sellers waiting on the sidelines during the downturn likely are eager to sell. And buyers are interested in a broader range of brands than they were several years ago when the focus was mainly on Toyota, Honda, Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the report says.
Source: Automotive News

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Fiat Might Shift Jeep, Alfa Romeo SUV Production To US

Fiat SpA might shift production of sport utility vehicles for Jeep and Alfa Romeo to the U.S. from Italy because of the weak dollar, according to a person familiar with the matter Wednesday. Fiat has already suspended preparations for an investment of more than EUR1 billion to revamp the Mirafiori plant as it waits for the motives behind a court ruling that dealt it a partial defeat in a spat with a union over how it has imposed stricter working conditions. The suspension puts at risk the launch date of the new models at a time when Fiat is seen by analysts as sorely needing to replenish its aging lineup with more, newer models. The SUVs would be the product of a joint venture between Fiat and Chrysler.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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More articles

Aug. 31, 2011 - Strong Autos Drove July Factory Orders Up 2.4%

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.

 
Quotable
"If consumer confidence can stay on an even keel, the next 60 days could shape up to be a good selling season."

    -- Peter Turek, automotive vice president for credit bureau TransUnion, Automotive News, Sept. 1

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Convention News
Three Hotels in Las Vegas Sold Out; Register Today

The Encore at Wynn, the Wynn and Bellagio -- three hotels in the NADA-ATD convention block -- have already sold out. Other high-end hotels, such as the Cosmopolitan, Venetian and Caesars Palace are filling up quickly. Register today to reserve a room in the 11 remaining hotels, including Treasure Island, a high-energy resort for families with views of the Las Vegas strip. Paris Las Vegas also has lowered its rate from $189 to $155. 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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HP's Small but Mighty PC

Super Savings from Lenovo

   
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