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Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
GM Pressed by House Panel for Details of Post-Crash Volt Fire
Ford's Decision to Pay Dividend Shows Confidence in its Recovery
Honda Factories Will Pour on Steam This Month
Toyota Slashes Profit Outlook
Report: Reuse of Closed US Auto Plants on the Rise
The Coming Car Electronics Revolution
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Top Stories
GM Pressed by House Panel for Details of Post-Crash Volt Fire

Three House Republicans have sent a letter to General Motors CEO Dan Akerson asking for a "detailed narrative" of how the automaker learned about a fire risk involving the Chevrolet Volt's battery and why it didn't disclose it to the public sooner. The House's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform wants to know why the company and U.S. safety regulators waited until November to tell consumers, dealers and emergency personnel about a post-crash fire in June involving the Volt. The House oversight committee, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., also sent a letter to safety regulators earlier [Thursday], saying it was expanding its probe into proposed fuel economy standards to include NHTSA's delayed response to alerting the public about the Volt's fire risk.
Source: Automotive News

Related article

 'Absolutely Not True' U.S. Withheld Volt Defect, LaHood Says (Bloomberg)

 GM Buys Batteries Less Volatile Than Volt’s for Spark Model (Bloomberg)

 Bluntly and Impatiently, Chief Upends G.M.'s Staid Tradition (The New York Times)

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Ford's Decision to Pay Dividend Shows Confidence in its Recovery

Ford's decision to resume paying a 5-cents-per-share dividend next March projects confidence that it will sustain a slow, steady recovery even in the face of economic turmoil and rewards investors who held on through hard times. It is Ford's first dividend payment since September 2006 and the first paid on common stock by any Detroit automaker since July 2008 when General Motors suspended its 25-cents-per-share dividend to preserve cash. With about 4 billion shares outstanding, the dividend will cost Ford about $200 million per quarter. "It shows me they have internal confidence in their cash flow despite what may happen in Europe," said Peter Nesvold, an analyst with Jefferies, which does not own Ford stock.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Honda Factories Will Pour on Steam This Month

If you want to see determination in action, watch Honda this month. Honda’s field sales force is now assuring dealers that December sales will hit 100,000, and the factory has put incentives on its big models to get that job done. Most models will have 0.9 percent financing for 60 months, under the marketing banner of “Happy Honda Days.” Dealers are being offered additional incentives to sell 2012 Accords -- a model that has been outsold by Nissan’s Altima for the past few months. For Honda, this could be a big comeback to a lousy year. A smiley face on a year end sales report that execs would just like to file away and forget.
Source: Automotive News

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Toyota Slashes Profit Outlook

Toyota Motor Corp. on Friday reduced its net profit outlook for this fiscal year by more than half, reflecting the hit to its production network from the massive flooding in Thailand. Japan's biggest car maker by volume said it now projects a net profit of ¥180 billion ($2.32 billion) for the year ending March 31, down 54% from the ¥390 billion it forecast in August—and well short of the median forecast of ¥401.46 billion from 22 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. Though the car maker's three factories in Thailand escaped inundation, flood-triggered bottlenecks in the parts-supply chain forced it to suspend local operations in early October, and later to scale back output in other countries including the U.S. and Japan.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

 Toyota Tweet Campaign Leads to $500 Credit (USA Today)

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Report: Reuse of Closed US Auto Plants on the Rise

About half of all U.S. automotive plants that have closed since 1979 are being reused, and much of that activity has come during the recent hard times for the industry and real estate market, according to a report released Thursday. The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based nonprofit Center for Automotive Research's report found that of the 267 assembly and parts plants closed during that period, 128 have found or are finding new life. Still, the upward trend doesn't erase the fact that more than half the empty, hulking plants or concrete prairies remain closed. The report said that of the 139 shuttered plants, 36 percent closed in the 1980s and `90s, which means they have been closed for at least a decade without finding new life.
Source: The Associated Press

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The Coming Car Electronics Revolution

On Wednesday, Broadcom announced a series of products that will bring the same kind of communications connectivity seen in home appliances and large data centers to cars. Broadcom says the near-term effect will be lighter cars and cheaper in-car electronics in front-seat driver safety and rear-seat entertainment. Further out, it predicts, cars may function more like cellphones, with greater personalization and custom features. The first use will probably be in more expensive cars ... But the electronics are expected to spread quickly to cheaper cars. Both BMW and Hyundai are partners with Broadcom in developing new electronics.
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.


"We have opened an investigation into battery-related fires that may occur some time after a severe crash. Chevy Volt owners can be confident that their cars are safe to drive."

    -- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, adding that claims the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration withheld information about the electric car’s safety are “absolutely not true,” Bloomberg, Dec. 8

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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