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Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
 
October Auto Sales Expected to Rise
Chrysler-UAW Contract Closer to Ratification
Honda Adds 1,000 Workers, Second Shift in Indiana
Revenue-Strapped States Pull Back on Hybrid Auto Tax Breaks
Small Cars to Get Big Roles in Chevy's SEMA Display
Nissan Says to Launch Plug-In Hybrid in 2015
Maine Man's Honda Accord Goes 1 Million Miles
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Top Stories
October Auto Sales Expected to Rise

The auto industry looks to post another good sales month in October, according to early projections. Auto research company J.D. Power and Associates estimates an annual industry sales pace of 13.1 million vehicles for the month, about the same as September and a big jump from earlier in the year. Economists say such a rate would be an encouraging sign that the economy is not slipping back into recession. "... Consumers are again returning to dealerships, keeping the sales pace more consistent with the strength seen at the beginning of the year," [said John Humphrey, a J.D. Power senior vice president.]
Source: Los Angeles Times

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Chrysler-UAW Contract Closer to Ratification

The new contract between Chrysler Group LLC and the United Auto Workers appears headed for ratification, with only one major plant left to vote today. Workers at Chrysler's Toledo North Assembly Plant cast their ballots Monday. And while the results were still being tallied Monday night, it seemed likely that members of UAW Local 12 would throw their weight behind the new agreement, given that it promises major new investments in the Jeep factory. Workers at Chrysler's Warren Truck Plant are scheduled to vote today. Privately, both a company source and a union source were optimistic Monday that the agreement they reached on Oct. 12 would soon be ratified.
Source: The Detroit News

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Honda Adds 1,000 Workers, Second Shift in Indiana

Honda Motor Co. said Monday it has added 1,000 new workers to staff a second shift at its factory in Greensburg, Ind., where the Civic compact car is made. The added shift increases production at the factory to 200,000 cars per year, and is the latest sign that Honda production is returning to normal after being disrupted by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Honda began hiring workers for the plant in June, with training taking place during the past few months.
Source: The Associated Press

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Revenue-Strapped States Pull Back on Hybrid Auto Tax Breaks

Sal Failla, who thinks of himself as a friend of the environment, said he would have liked to have bought an eco-friendly Prius. But the 50-miles-to-the-gallon, $24,000-plus hybrid wasn't in the 25-year-old's budget. He bought a Toyota Corolla recently, which has a manufacturer's suggested retail price range of $16,300 to $20,250. Exemption from New Jersey's 7% sales tax — which would have saved him $1,680 — might have pushed him to go green with the purchase, said Failla, of Matawan, N.J. As New Jersey and other states look to get out of financial crunches, exemptions and credits aimed at putting car buyers in hybrids and high-mileage automobiles are becoming harder to find.
Source: USA Today

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Small Cars to Get Big Roles in Chevy's SEMA Display

It’s the year of the small car for General Motors as the automaker prepares to debut tricked-out Chevrolet Sonic subcompacts and Cruze compacts next week at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show. Chevrolet will showcase 51 vehicles at the show, set for Nov. 1-4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. GM says 60 percent of its display vehicles will be small cars, including 21 Chevrolet Sonics and 10 of the company’s best-selling Cruze cars. “The Sonic really lends itself to the performance side of things,” said Cristi Landy, director of small cars for Chevrolet. “We’re trying to make it the a la carte vehicle for consumers.”
Source: Automotive News

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Nissan Says to Launch Plug-In Hybrid in 2015

Nissan Motor Co will launch a plug-in hybrid vehicle developed in-house in 2015 as part of its new five-year environmental plan, Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said on Monday. As emissions and mileage regulations grow stricter around the world, Nissan and Renault are also sharing development costs with equity partner Daimler AG, with plans to work on fuel-cell vehicles together to complement battery EVs in the zero-emission field. "When you combine the research and development budgets and the investments of these three companies you have the largest one in the industry," Ghosn told a news conference. "Nobody matches us."
Source: Reuters

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Maine Man's Honda Accord Goes 1 Million Miles

A Maine man and his car are celebrating a million-mile milestone. Joe LoCicero was given a 2012 Honda Accord at a parade in the city of Saco on Sunday after surpassing the million-mile mark on the odometer of his 1990 Accord. He reached the milestone Thursday. A Honda spokeswoman tells the Portland Press Herald it's the first time the manufacturer has documented an Accord reaching one million miles.
Source: The Associated Press

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Quotable
"... Consumers are again returning to dealerships, keeping the sales pace more consistent with the strength seen at the beginning of the year."

   
-- John Humphrey, a senior vice president for J.D. Power and Associates, which estimates an annual industry sales pace of 13.1 million vehicles for October, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 21
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