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Inside this issue
Dealers, Suppliers Revel in New Attitude at Show
Hesterberg: Dealers, Facing Slim Profits, Need Better Support
Luxury Car Makers Think Small
Marchionne: Europe Needs to Cut Car Production
Turning to Tech on the Road
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Dealers, Suppliers Revel in New Attitude at Show

North Carolina Chrysler dealer John Gillilan was photographing the shiny new Chryslers, Dodges and Jeeps on the floor of the North American International Auto Show on Wednesday. Gillilan, who is president of Neuwirth Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Wilmington, N.C., set sales records last year, selling more than 1,000 new vehicles. What he saw Wednesday at Cobo makes him optimistic about the coming year. "The economy is recovering, and I believe Detroit will see it soon, too," Gillilan said.
Source: The Detroit News

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 Insiders Scope Out Competition: Detroit Auto Show Gives Industry a Close-Up (Detroit Free Press)

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Hesterberg: Dealers, Facing Slim Profits, Need Better Support

Dealers' profits remain "fragile," so better support from automakers, lower interest rates from lenders and a lessening of government regulations are needed for dealers to prosper, Group 1 Automotive Inc. CEO Earl Hesterberg told the Automotive World Congress [Wednesday]. New vehicle margins remain "well below" pre-recession levels, he said. Automakers "have generally not grasped the importance of this fact or have not taken action to address it," Hesterberg, 58, said. "Brands with stronger dealer grosses have stronger dealer networks and elicit more dealer resources in terms of better personnel, more advertising, and increased facility investments."
Source: Automotive News

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Luxury Car Makers Think Small

Luxury car makers are gearing up to offer a wave of small models that will test whether affluent U.S. car buyers are ready to concede that bigger isn't always better. From the tailfin-ornamented Cadillacs of the 1950s to the super-sized luxury sport utility vehicles of the last two decades, the U.S. luxury vehicle market has operated on a bigger is better aesthetic. Now, under pressure from regulators around the world to boost fleet average fuel economy, auto makers have little choice but to at least partially undo a consumer mindset nurtured by decades of marketing that linked big cars to living large.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Marchionne: Europe Needs to Cut Car Production

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said Wednesday that Europe needs to cut 10 to 20 percent of its auto manufacturing capacity to deal with falling sales in the region. Pricewaterhouse Coopers estimates Europe sold 13.5 million vehicles last year, down from a peak of 16 million in 2007. Marchionne said he thinks sales will stay at that depressed level through at least 2014, unless Europe's governments solve the region's debt crisis. "We're going to have a car industry that will lope along until something's done," he said at the Automotive News World Congress, an industry conference.
Source: The Associated Press

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Turning to Tech on the Road

If Mercedes, BMW and Ford have their way, the new cars they build will be able to port apps, games, music and movies from a smartphone to a car’s entertainment system. But for every potential distraction automakers add, they find themselves having to build in ways to prevent drivers from crashing their new smartphone on wheels: automatically applying the brakes at a traffic light; alerting drivers when a car is in the blind spot, or reading traffic signs and slowing a car as speed zones change. “We can’t stop the prolific growth of consumer technology,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer at Ford. “We can’t stop people bringing phones in their cars. We endeavor to make sure people do it in the safest way possible.”
Source: The New York Times

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 Study: More Drivers Want In-Car Tech to Avoid Accidents (USA Today)
 Look, Ma, No Plug!: Electric Cars Recharged Wirelessly (USA Today)

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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

"The economy is recovering, and I believe Detroit will see it soon, too."

    -- John Gillilan, president of Neuwirth Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Wilmington, N.C., expressing optimism about Chrysler's future after attending the North American International Auto Show, The Detroit News, Jan. 12




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Convention news
Registration Soars for Upcoming NADA Convention and Expo

Registration for the 2012 NADA Convention & Expo next month in Las Vegas is expected to pass the totals of the last three years. Exhibit space is sold out with more than 500 companies occupying nearly 500,000 square feet. Eight hotels are sold out and the remaining six hotels are filling up fast. Advance registration rates will end on Jan. 27, so don’t delay. Click here to register today.



Exhibitor Update

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Foundation news
Cleveland Dealers Donate $120,000 to NADA Foundation Ambassador Program

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