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Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside This Issue
October Auto Sales Rate Seen at 8-Month High
Saab Auto Clinches $844 Million Lifeline From China's Pang Da, Youngman
Honda Sees Delays in U.S. Orders
Hyundai Exports Climb as Japan Quake Disrupts Rivals' Output
Ally Financial to Launch Unique Buyer's Choice Car Loan in 5 States
Video: Ford U.S. Sales Chief Discusses Company's Progress and Dealer Relations
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Top Stories
October Auto Sales Rate Seen at 8-Month High

U.S. auto sales in October are expected to have hit the highest rate in at least eight months, helped by pent-up demand from consumers trading in aging vehicles and a wider selection of Honda and Toyota brand cars and trucks. Forty-one economists polled by Reuters expect October's seasonally adjusted annualized rate to be around 13.2 million vehicles, up about 9 percent from the year earlier. In September, the sales rate was 13.1 million. Analysts said October's likely stronger sales were also driven by the greater availability of vehicles made by Honda Motor Co and Toyota Motor Co, after the industry recovered from Japan's March earthquake which triggered a shortage of auto parts.
Source: Reuters

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Saab Auto Clinches $844 Million Lifeline From China's Pang Da, Youngman

The two Chinese companies that plan to buy Saab Automobile pledged to invest 610 million euros ($844 million) in the Swedish carmaker, prompting a court to extend the manufacturer’s protection against creditors. Pang Da Automobile Trade Co. and Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile will also provide an immediate 50 million-euro bridge loan to help debt-laden Saab survive as it reorganizes, Guy Lofalk, the attorney overseeing the program, said in Vaenersborg District Court yesterday. Saab’s owner, Swedish Automobile NA, said separately that about 500 jobs will be cut. “Saab will now have a real chance to thrive,” Chairman Victor Muller said in an interview at the court in southwestern Sweden.
Source: Bloomberg

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Honda Sees Delays in U.S. Orders

Honda Motor Co. expects the impact of recently announced production stoppages in its North American plants to linger into December and January, the auto maker told its U.S. dealers in a memo. Earlier on Monday Honda said it will cut by 50% its planned output at its six North American plants by eight days beginning Nov. 2, due to parts shortages stemming from flooding in Thailand. In a memo to dealers, the company explained that production is likely to be disrupted beyond Nov. 10. Honda should be back to normal production levels by late December, but the company warned dealers that vehicles they have ordered would be built at later dates than previously expected.
Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)

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Hyundai Exports Climb as Japan Quake Disrupts Rivals' Output

Hyundai Motor Co. posted the biggest monthly gain in exports since January as the earthquake in Japan disrupted output at rival manufacturers. Hyundai sold 364,809 vehicles last month, 14 percent more than a year earlier, led by an 18 percent jump in overseas sales, according to a statement by the Seoul-based company. Hyundai's Kia Motors Corp. affiliate sold 212,348 vehicles in October, an 11 percent gain from a year earlier. The South Korean automakers have expanded their U.S. market share as Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. curtailed output after the magnitude-9 temblor and ensuing tsunami in Japan led to shortages of power and parts.
Source: Automotive News

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Ally Financial to Launch Unique Buyer's Choice Car Loan in 5 States

Ally Financial is launching a new type of new car loan in the country's five most populous states that will allow borrowers to sell their vehicles back to Ally after four years at a price that will at least cover the balance left on the loan. Called Buyer's Choice, the new offering will be available beginning Tuesday for dealers selling and consumers buying any General Motors or Chrysler vehicle in California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas. Consumers with loans ranging from 60 months to 84 months will have the option to sell their vehicle at a predetermined price after 48 months. They also have the option to sell the vehicle on their own if they think they get a higher price, but Ally will buy back vehicles only at the end of the 48th month, said Tim Russi, executive vice president of Ally's North American operations.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Video: Ford U.S. Sales Chief Discusses Company's Progress and Dealer Relations

The introduction of new vehicles and improving factory-dealer relations are reasons why Ford Motor Company has “made great progress over the last few years,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service. “Our focus has been on quality, green, safe and smart,” Czubay said in an interview on “AutoFocus with David Hyatt,” a public affairs television program recorded in Studio One at the National Automobile Dealers Association’s headquarters in McLean, Va. “And I think consumers are recognizing that we’re delivering on those four pillars, and there’s been so much renewed interest in our products.” In talking about Ford’s dramatic turnaround, Czubay described it as a “very interesting journey” for Ford and its dealers. “We’re particularly proud of the progress that our dealers have made,” he added. “They’ve been a real partner with us.” Click here for the “AutoFocus” interview.
Source: NADA Newsroom

Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series with Czubay.

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The NADA Story

In 1917, thirty auto dealers traveled to the nation’s capital to convince Congress not to impose a luxury tax on the automobile. They successfully argued that the automobile is a necessity of American life, not a luxury. From that experience was born the National Automobile Dealers Association. Today, NADA represents nearly 16,000 new-car and -truck dealerships with 32,500 franchises, both domestic and international.

"Everyone's trying to extend the life (of their vehicles), but you can only extend it so far. People are almost forced to swap in for a new vehicle."

    -- Mirko Mikelic, an executive with Fifth Third, referring to October's increase in new-vehicle sales as a result of pent-up demand, Reuters, Oct. 31

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Ford's Czubay on Company's Progress and Dealer Relations (AutoFocus)

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