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Inside this issue
GM Chief Keeps His Cool
Ford May See Most Annual Profit Since 1998 on One-Time Gain
Ghosn Sees Record Auto Sales Year
Hyundai Says Elantra U.S. Sales Growth to Slow on Plant Capacity
NADA Foundation to Support Wounded Veterans at Convention
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
GM Chief Keeps His Cool

He gets good reviews but panel's attention focuses on NHTSA

Dan Akerson, the General Motors Co. CEO known for being blunt and impatient, made it through his first Capitol Hill testimony Wednesday without a hiccup. The 63-year-old former private equity firm partner, who has run GM since September 2010, defended the Chevrolet Volt, which has been under scrutiny since a fire was reported in a car that had been crash-tested. In doing so, he won positive reviews from Republicans. Akerson answered questions for about an hour during the hearing that, including breaks, lasted about 3 1/2 hours. Asked if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had given the Volt a "free ride," Akerson rejected that notion. "If there's any question in anyone's mind that (NHTSA) gave us a free ride, the last two months of negative publicity and the fact that I'm sitting here doing this, I think, well, 'I'll go it alone in the future,'" he said.
Source: The Detoit News

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Ford May See Most Annual Profit Since 1998 on One-Time Gain

Ford Motor Co. boosted by a one-time tax gain, may report its most profitable year since 1998, while weakness in Europe and Asia cut fourth-quarter earnings. Ford may post 2011 net income tomorrow that tops $20 billion, thanks to a gain of about $14 billion from eliminating a valuation allowance against deferred tax benefits, said Robert Willens, a corporate tax specialist. Ford no longer needs the reserve, created in 2006 as it began reporting operating losses, because it expects to be profitable in coming years and able to use the tax benefits, according to a U.S. filing.
Source: Bloomberg

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Ghosn Sees Record Auto Sales Year

Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault, said he expects this to be a record year for the automotive industry. Speaking in an interview in Davos, Switzerland, Ghosn said a European market decline will be offset by sales in the rest of the world. He said his forecast is also valid for Nissan and Renault. "The rest of the markets outside Europe will be growing," Ghosn said, adding that he sees growth in the U.S., China, and "most of the developing countries."
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Hyundai Says Elantra U.S. Sales Growth to Slow on Plant Capacity

Hyundai Motor Co. U.S. sales unit said the increase in the number of Elantra compact sedans sold this year will slow compared with last year’s 41 percent gain because of tight factory capacity. “The growth will be capped only because of production capacity,” Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America’s executive vice president of national sales, said today in an interview at the Washington auto show. “We’re going to sell what we did last year but our growth curve will plateau just because of capacity,” he said.
Source: Bloomberg

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NADA Foundation to Support Wounded Veterans at Convention

The National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation is helping raise awareness of a special canine companions program that provides wounded military veterans with trained assistance dogs. NADA Foundation Chairman Bob Mallon will present the Wounded Veterans Initiative of Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) with a $10,000 donation at the NADA Convention and Expo in Las Vegas on Saturday, Feb. 4. Bren Denney, a U.S. Navy veteran who received his service dog Stefano more than two years ago, along with Bob Bunger, CCI’s national director of development services, will receive the donation. The funds help pay the training costs of a service dog that will be placed with a veteran later this year. “There’s so much more to the relationship between the dogs and the impaired,” said Denney, who was injured in April 2008 while on duty in Singapore. “I did not realize it right away, but the emotional joy these animals provide far outweigh any physical task they could ever do.”
Source: NADA Newsroom

Editor’s note: Mallon will present CCI with a $10,000 donation at the NADA Foundation exhibit (Booth No. 2052) in the Las Vegas Convention Center at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4.

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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 advantages of hybrids are getting harder to justify. It's the cost differential. Consumers are rational, and they understand the cost of ownership." 

   
-- Scott Corwin, a vice president with New York consulting firm Booz & Co., referring to the higher cost of hybrids compared to gasoline engines, Bloomberg, Jan. 26
       




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