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Inside this issue
Fed-Up Dealers: Stop Nitpicking on Store Rules
NADA Updates, CAFE on New Chief's Agenda
Auto Show Displays Progress in Green Vehicles, But Sales Lag
Chrysler Plans New Hiring, Starting With Illinois Plant
Honda Begins Deliveries of Battery-Powered Fit
California Fuels Rule Sparks Controversy
Hudson Dealer Winds Up His Year as Nation's Best
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Fed-Up Dealers: Stop Nitpicking on Store Rules

When the factory rep is eyeballing the toilet paper in your dealership bathroom to make sure it's appropriately soft and cushy, it makes a dealer say, Hey, enough already. Dealers say they understand the need to keep their stores attractive and clean. But they don't like factory executives dictating the type of towel bar they should hang in the bathroom or pressuring them to replace items that are in perfect condition but just don't fit a certain color scheme or style. The frustration drove the National Automobile Dealers Association to commission a study of dealership image programs to try to discern the payback for investing in manufacturer facility recommendations. NADA will release the results of the study on Saturday, Feb. 4, during its annual convention. "With dealers spending millions in facility upgrades mandated by the factories, we want to justify it so it works for everybody and there's a reasonable return on investment," NADA Chairman Stephen Wade said.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: NADA will announce the findings of a fact-based, objective study that focuses on the cost effectiveness of factory image programs Saturday during the 2012 NADA-ATD Convention & Expo in Las Vegas. Glenn Mercer, the well-known industry analyst who conducted the study, will present the findings and answer questions during a press conference at 9 a.m. in room N233 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more information contact David Hyatt, NADA vice president of public affairs, at (202) 281-4550 or dhyatt@nada.org. For the full press conference schedule, click here.

Related article

 Opinion: Factories, Dealers Must Resolve Renovations Issue (Automotive News)

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NADA Updates, CAFE on New Chief's Agenda

Bill Underriner, who takes over as chairman of NADA at the convention in Las Vegas, plans to tackle today's issues and tomorrow's. He will be charged with following up on a report that the National Automobile Dealers Association commissioned from former McKinsey & Co. partner Glenn Mercer on whether investments in the automakers' facility image programs provide an adequate payback for dealers. Underriner, 60, started in the auto business as sales manager at his father-in-law's Buick store in Billings, Mont., and has made Underriner Motors a four-franchise operation with two stores.
Source: Automotive News

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Auto Show Displays Progress in Green Vehicles, But Sales Lag

The latest in car and truck technology went on display [this weekend] at the Washington Auto Show against the backdrop of a rebounding American auto industry and the promise that new fuel-efficient technology would expand the market further. Still, overall sales last year were well below pre-recession levels, signaling pent-up demand among consumers who have chosen to hang onto their old cars and wait out the recession. For Rebecca Lindland, director of research at IHS Automotive, this prompts the question: "What are they going to buy?" For one thing, "we're not buying into the whole idea of hybrid technology," she said. Hybrid sales have fallen in recent years, from a total market share of 2.7 percent in 2009 to 2.2 percent in last year, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Source: Environment & Energy Daily

Related article

 Obama Expected to Get Sneak Peek of New Models on Tour of DC Auto Show (The Detroit News)

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Chrysler Plans New Hiring, Starting With Illinois Plant

Chrysler Group LLC will announce next week it will add more than 1,600 production workers at an Illinois assembly plant, signaling the start of a hiring blitz that promises to add thousands of workers to the auto maker's plants over the next three years. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne is expected to make the announcement during a visit to the auto maker's Belvidere assembly plant on Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter. The job expansion will be the first in a series of new hiring announcements that the auto maker is expected to make to meet growing demand for its cars and trucks.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Editor's note: Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne will address dealers on Feb. 4 at the 2012 NADA-ATD Convention & Expo in Las Vegas. Click here for more information.

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Honda Begins Deliveries of Battery-Powered Fit

Honda has begun handing over the keys to its all-electric Fit EV. The three first cars will be part of a demonstration program to provide advanced research and driving feedback that Honda can use in the development of future electric cars and powertrains. At Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., the Fit EV will become part of what is called the G-fleet — alternative-power vehicles in the company’s car-sharing program — and will give Honda feedback on what multiple drivers like and don’t like about the car.
Source: The New York Times

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California Fuels Rule Sparks Controversy

Just as it pioneered curbs on greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks a decade ago, California is championing standards that could transform the fuel that goes into their tanks. But its new rule, which requires lowering the amount of carbon in fuel sold in the state, has become embroiled in a fierce public battle and has been barred from being enforced. Charles T. Drevna, president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, said the policy “sounds really good at the 30,000-foot level” but added, “When you get down to terra firma, it’s a giant energy tax and a fuel rationing scheme.”
Source: The Washington Post

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Hudson Dealer Winds Up His Year as Nation's Best

 
2011 TIME Dealer of the Year Tom Castriota, an Iraq war veteran, was honored in this advertisement in TIME Magazine.

There is one downside to winning a major annual award. A year later, it comes time to hand the title to someone else. On Feb. 5, 2011 Tom Castriota experienced the pinnacle of his professional life as he stood on the stage at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Exposition in San Francisco and heard his name called as the Time magazine Dealer of Year, one of the industry's highest honors. On Feb. 3, there will be another convention; the 2012 Dealer of the Year will be announced, and Castriota's name forever will be among the list of former winners.
Source: Tampa Bay Online

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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.

 
Quotable

"I want to be seen in my town, not in outer space."

    -- David Griffith, who says he was taken aback by the number of light poles requested by factory architects when he built new side-by-side Toyota and Honda stores in The Dalles, Ore., Automotive News, Jan. 30       




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