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Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Ford and GM Renew a Bitter Rivalry
Sergio Marchionne's Bad Bet at Fiat
Supply Low, Demand High for Used Cars
Nine Commercial Trucks Nominated for National Award
Black Friday: Best Day to Buy a Car
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Top Stories
Ford and GM Renew a Bitter Rivalry

The U.S. has plenty of great corporate rivalries: Apple vs. Microsoft, Visa vs. MasterCard, Coke vs. Pepsi. But few are as close and personal as the battle between Detroit's two giant auto makers. Ford, which was founded in 1903, and GM, founded five years later, have been going at each other for more than a century. It's a critical time for the companies because legions of car buyers are up for grabs.
Source: The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

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Sergio Marchionne's Bad Bet at Fiat

The lilliputian 500 was supposed to drum up buzz and go viral, much like BMW's Mini a decade ago. Instead, sales have been disappointing and dealers are not happy.
Sergio Marchionne took a gamble last year, recruiting a relatively unknown junior auto executive from Volkswagen for her experiential marketing skills which would help relaunch the Fiat brand in the U.S. He lost that bet. Fiat's first model, the 500, has suffered from low sales and complaints from U.S. dealers of weak advertising support. Marchionne, the chief executive of Chrysler Group LLC and its Fiat SpA affiliate, is now reshaping the 500's marketing along more conventional lines. ... the automaker insisted that dealers initially construct separate, dedicated Fiat "studios" -- a costly stipulation -- rather than rely on existing Chrysler stores. Many of the owners of the 134 studios would have preferred to see a large advertising expenditure by the automaker to stimulate customer traffic.
Source: Fortune

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Supply Low, Demand High for Used Cars

Certainties include death, taxes and aging cars losing residual values. But lately some people aren’t so sure about the latter. Automotive appraisers scratch their heads when they look at the high prices some used vehicles fetch these days on both the wholesale and retail markets. Values remain high, says Jonathan Banks, executive auto analyst for the NADA Used Car Guide. “You’d think the market would be ready for a correction. But I don’t see anything to make prices go down.” In 2008 and 2009, vehicle leasing fell out of favor with some auto makers. “Used-car supplies will be tight in 2012, in part because there won’t be as many 3-year lease returns,” Banks says. Certified pre-owned vehicles, typically off-lease returns, “will be hard to find.”

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Nine Commercial Trucks Nominated for National Award

Winners to be announced at NADA-ATD convention in Las Vegas
The American Truck Dealers (ATD) announced today the nominees for a national award that recognizes the top truck entries in the heavy- and medium-duty categories. Nine trucks were nominated for the 2012 ATD Commercial Truck of the Year. The heavy-duty (Class 8) truck entries are the Freightliner 114SD conventional dump truck, International ProStar+ tractor with MaxxForce 15 engine, Kenworth T660 Regional Hauler with Paccar MX engine and Peterbilt 587 SmartWay conventional tractor. The medium-duty (Class 3-7) truck entries are the Fuso Canter FE160 low cab forward, Isuzu NPR-HD Gas, Kenworth T440 Conventional, Peterbilt Model 210 low cab forward and UD 2600 low cab forward.
Source: NADA Newsroom

Editor's note:
For photos of the 2012 ATD Commercial Truck of the Year nominees, click here.

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Black Friday: Best Day to Buy a Car

If you're looking for a new car, the day after Thanksgiving is the best day of the year to buy.
When people think of Black Friday shopping, they usually think of things like flat screen TVs, toys and sweaters. Now you can add cars, trucks and SUVs. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the best day to buy a car, according to car pricing researchers at the Web site Analysts looked at day-by-day car pricing for the last several years. That data revealed that discounts on Black Friday are, on average, the biggest of the year. "The discounts from dealerships, as well as manufacturers' incentives, generate the highest discounts of the year on Black Friday," said Jesse Toprak, an analyst for Michelle Primm, managing partner of Cascade Auto Group in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, said her dealerships don't usually do big, splashy ads, except on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. "Those are the only two days when we buy full-page ads in the paper," she said.

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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.

"Ford is a tough, street-smart competitor. If they are spending time worrying about us, I would take that as a compliment."

    -- GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson, referring to the renewed rivalry between Ford and GM, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 23

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NADA - National Automobile Dealers Association

 Economic Report from NADA Chief Economist Paul Taylor

Ford's Czubay on Fuel Economy and Consumer Choice  (AutoFocus)

NADA Used Car Guide October Market Update (AutoFocus)

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Chairman's Column
Study Takes a Look at ROI of Factory Image Programs

Economic Fears May be Rising, But New-Car Sales are Still Expected to Rise

Dodd-Frank Law Takes Effect with Implications for F&I Office

Convention news
Highest-Rated Convention Speaker Returns in 2012

Jeffrey Hargett of the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center—the highest-rated workshop speaker from the past convention—was invited back to the 2012 convention in Las Vegas to speak on a different topic, “How to Fulfill Your Customers’ Unexpressed Wishes.” The workshop will be held only once—on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 10:30 a.m. at the convention center. A workshop video will not be produced. Click here to register for the convention today.

Foundation news
NADA Foundation Ambassador Peter Blackstock Supports California School

Iraq War Veteran, Disabled Child Receive Canine Companions from the NADA Foundation

NADA Foundation: Ambassador Supports American Red Cross

New NADA Mobile App for iPhone and iPad

Black Friday Door Buster from HP

Lenovo's Black Friday Doorbuster
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