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Monday, Nov. 7, 2011 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
 
Inside This Issue
Toyota, Honda May Not Recover Output Until 2012 With Thai Flood
Chrysler-United Auto Workers Contract Under Fire
Dealers Eager for Google Pilot
Saab's Future in Flux as G.M. Considers Opposing Its Sale
Chevrolet Cruze's Success Shocks the Auto Industry
Dealer: A La Carte Menu Helps Lift Service Work
Sell 10,000 Volts? Uh ... OK, Boss
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Toyota, Honda May Not Recover Output Until 2012 With Thai Flood

Plans by Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. to run factories overtime to recoup production lost to parts shortages caused by Japan’s earthquake may be delayed until early 2012 because of flooding in Thailand. “For both Toyota and Honda, they really won’t be able to expand production as planned until the first quarter of 2012,” said Tracy Handler, a Troy, Michigan-based analyst with IHS Automotive. “They’ve certainly been really unlucky this year.”
Source: Bloomberg

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Chrysler-United Auto Workers Contract Under Fire

The dissident group Autoworkers Caravan has filed a petition with the United Auto Workers on behalf of Chrysler Group LLC skilled-trades workers, appealing the union's decision to ratify its new contract with the automaker over their objections. While the majority of UAW members voted in favor of the new contract last week, the majority of skilled-trades workers voted against it. Union rules require contracts to be ratified by both skilled trades and production workers, but UAW leaders meeting in closed session voted to overturn that veto and sign the agreement on Oct. 26.
Source: The Detroit News

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Dealers Eager for Google Pilot

Dealers in the San Francisco area who have signed up to bid for Internet leads from Google are eager for the search-engine giant to launch the pilot program. Shaun Del Grande, president of the eight-store Del Grande Dealer Group in San Jose, Calif., said the program could push enough business his way that he may reduce the number of third-party leads he now buys. Google is initiating the program with a handful of Bay-area dealers but has set no date for a national launch.
Source: Automotive News

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Saab's Future in Flux as G.M. Considers Opposing Its Sale

General Motors said on Friday that it might block two Chinese carmakers from acquiring Saab, the Swedish brand it cut loose in 2010, throwing Saab’s prospects for survival into doubt just days after it appeared to have been saved from collapse. G.M. will oppose the sale unless officials become satisfied it will not “negatively impact G.M.’s existing relationships in China or otherwise adversely affect G.M.’s interests worldwide,” a G.M. spokesman, James R. Cain, said. The deal, valid through Nov. 15, requires approval of the authorities in Beijing, the European Investment Bank and the Swedish government, as well as G.M., which owns preferred shares of Saab with a face value of $326 million. G.M. still provides components and technology to Saab and builds the Saab 9-4X crossover at a plant in Mexico.
Source: The New York Times

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Chevrolet Cruze's Success Shocks the Auto Industry

No one expected Chevrolet Cruze to score so big so fast on sales -- no one outside General Motors, at least. In its first 12 months of sales, the Cruze compact ranked 10th among all U.S. vehicle purchases. The car's Lordstown, Ohio, plant has been running three shifts plus overtime Saturdays since late spring and has still had difficulty meeting racing consumer demand. Cruze sales have skyrocketed this year, getting an unexpected boost from shortages of inventory among key competitors. Consumers have been attracted to the value of the car. Consumers have flocked to a vehicle that gets a highway rating of up to 42 miles per gallon from the Environmental Protection Agency and embraced the standard features included in the $17,470 suggested starting price.
Source: USA Today

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Dealer: A La Carte Menu Helps Lift Service Work

Sud's Motor Car Co. doesn't give service customers free car washes, free loaner cars or complimentary pickup and delivery. Yet on average about 25 vehicles a day come to Sud's for service in Normal, Ill., a town with a population of about 52,000. Some loyal customers even drive from nearly 50 miles away. By skipping amenities, Sud's can charge a lower price than competitors for service work. "There is nothing free in life. You pay for it. So when people say, 'We'll give you a free loaner,' the cost for it is buried in there somewhere," says Gian Sud, owner of Sud's Motor Car. He sells Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, Subaru, Volvo and Lincoln vehicles. Sud's customers can get loaner cars, car washes, detail work and vehicle pickup and delivery. But they must pay for the services.
Source: Automotive News

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Sell 10,000 Volts? Uh ... OK, Boss

General Motors is sticking to its 2011 U.S. sales goal of 10,000 Chevrolet Volts -- even though it would have to sell as many in the final two months of the year as it did in the first 10. Sales have accelerated after a July overhaul of the Detroit plant where the car is built that boosted production sharply. Through October, sales totaled 5,003. "I've never given up on a sales target in my life," Don Johnson, GM's vice president of U.S. sales, told analysts and reporters on a conference call. "Given the momentum we've got right now, I'm not going to give up on it now."
Source: Automotive News

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The NADA Story

The NADA story began in 1917 when 30 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.

 
Quotable

"Everywhere in the world where we launched the car, it just took off. So we knew the hardware was really good."

    -- Chevrolet sales chief Alan Batey, referring to the Cruze compact, which has ranked 10th among all U.S. vehicle purchases in its first 12 months of sales, USA Today, Nov. 4 

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