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Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
U.S. Automakers Set for Best Year Since 2008
California Electric Car Startup Aptera Shuts Down
GM Exec Promises Speedy Fix to Volt Battery, If Needed
More Reminders, Softer Sell Lift Dealership's Service Business
Even on the 11th Floor, There's Parking Right Out Front
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Top Stories
U.S. Automakers Set for Best Year Since 2008

The U.S. auto industry is seeing demand recover faster than anticipated, with carmakers headed toward their best annual performance in three years at sales of 12.8 million vehicles. Consumers entered this year’s final month demanding models ranging from big pickups to luxury sedans to fuel-sipping hybrids after pushing November’s sales to the fastest monthly pace since the government’s “cash for clunkers” trade-in program in August 2009. “The recovery is showing a little bit more resiliency than what people feared,” Paul Ballew, chief economist for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., said ... “Vehicle sales are inching their way back up to 14-, and then eventually 15- and 16-million units.”
Source: Bloomberg

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California Electric Car Startup Aptera Shuts Down

Aptera, the California startup best known for developing a space age-looking, three-wheeled car, has closed its doors after failing to raise the funds needed to put its ultra-efficient vehicles on the road. The company had received a conditional offer for a $150 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, but failed to secure the $80 million in private investment needed to close that financing, Chief Executive Paul Wilbur said on Friday. "There is a hesitancy now for investors to put large capital into almost any investment, but the automotive investment -- it's pretty difficult to find those investors." Aptera is in talks with several prospective buyers on selling some of its technologies, Wilbur said.
Source: Reuters

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GM Exec Promises Speedy Fix to Volt Battery, If Needed

General Motors Co.'s head of global product development says the issues with the Chevrolet Volt are no different than those encountered during the introduction of other new automotive technologies, but she added that the company will make changes to its battery design if they are deemed necessary. "I have engineers working shoulder-to-shoulder with the NHTSA engineers right now," said Mary Barra, vice president of global product development for GM. "If it's something we feel is important to the safety of the vehicle that we want to do right away, we'll figure out a way to do it," she told journalists at an Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit on Friday. "That's not where we see it right now."
Source: The Detroit News

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More Reminders, Softer Sell Lift Dealership's Service Business

Customers hate being bombarded with service reminders, right? Not always. At Ron Tonkin Toyota in Portland, Ore., service business in 2010 was starting to rebound after the Great Recession. But the comeback was slower than service director Steve Jewell thought it should be. Working with GS Marketing of Houston, the dealership started sending more frequent reminders to its service customers. Instead of sending the reminders through the mail, it gave customers the choice of e-mail, text messages, automated phone reminders or mail. And it adopted a softer selling approach. Says Jewell: "As long as we keep them coming back to our store, chances are when they want a new car they buy from us."
Source: Automotive News (subscription required)

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Even on the 11th Floor, There's Parking Right Out Front

From two expansive windows in Glauco Lolli-Ghetti’s 11th-floor condominium in West Chelsea, there are sweeping views of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building. But visitors will not find an inviting sofa in this room, no place where a guest might sit back and admire the cityscape. Most of the room, you see, is filled with a 2004 Range Rover. It is not the parking spot in the sky attracting buyers to the new 19-story building at 24th Street, Mr. Lolli-Ghetti says, but the Hudson River panorama, the floor-to-ceiling windows and the thousands of square feet of space. Still, the sky garages in the building, which was designed by Annabelle Selldorf, are what has drawn the most attention.
Source: The New York Times

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More Articles

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.


"Vehicle sales are inching their way back up to 14-, and then eventually 15- and 16-million units."

    -- Paul Ballew, chief economist for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., on the U.S. auto industry's recovering faster than anticipated, Bloomberg, Dec. 5


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
2012 Convention on Pace to Be Biggest Since 2008

Congress Members: 'Time Out' Needed on Fuel Economy Regulation

Study Takes a Look at ROI of Factory Image Programs

Convention news
Exhibit Space at 2012 NADA Convention and Expo Sold Out

"Booth space for exhibitors is busting at the seams, which is another indicator the auto industry is showing signs of recovery,” says Steve Pitt, NADA vice president of conventions and expositions. For an advance look at the exhibitor list, attendees are encouraged to log on to “myNADAplanner,” an online tool that connect buyers and sellers on the expo floor. It also lists the “show specials” that will be available on the expo floor. To register for the convention, visit

Exhibitor Update

Click here for the latest news on first-time exhibitors.

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

HP's Inventory Blowout

Lenovo's New December Deals

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