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Inside this issue
Economists See More Reasons for Optimism This Year
Judge Denies U.S. Motion to Dismiss Suit over Chrysler Dealer Terminations
Who's The Father Of The Auto Bailout? In Michigan, A Lively Debate
Peugeot May Sell 7% Stake to GM in Alliance
Fiat Eyes Would-Be Partners as Europe Stagnates
Toyota, GM Channel Big Bucks to YouTube
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Economists See More Reasons for Optimism This Year

Economists are increasingly confident that some pillars of the U.S. economy will improve this year, but they still remain cautious in their expectations on the overall pace of economic growth. The National Association for Business Economics said Monday that forecasters have raised their expectations for employment, new home construction and business spending this year. But they held on to their average prediction that America's gross domestic product, or GDP, will grow at a rate of 2.4 percent. That's a slight improvement from 2011, when economists believe the economy grew 1.6 percent. Final economic growth numbers for 2011 are due out Wednesday. GDP reflects the economy's total output of goods and services.
Source: The Associated Press

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Judge Denies U.S. Motion to Dismiss Suit over Chrysler Dealer Terminations

Dealers terminated during Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy will be allowed to proceed with a lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department, alleging the government violated the Constitution in taking their store franchises. A ruling handed down [Monday] by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims denied the government's motion to dismiss the case. The lawsuit, filed in February 2011, contends that the Obama administration violated the Fifth Amendment, which says private property shall not "be taken" for public use "without just compensation". The suit also alleges the terminations violated state legal rights by taking the franchises without adequate compensation. "We received a very important decision today," said the dealers' attorney, Leonard Bellavia of Mineola, N.Y. He added: "After this decision, I expect those dealers sitting on the sidelines to join the case." So far, 75 eliminated dealers have signed on to the suit, which seeks at least $200 million.
Source: Automotive News

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Who's The Father Of The Auto Bailout? In Michigan, A Lively Debate

The auto industry bailout continues to fuel a hot stove league, more than three years after Washington wrote Detroit its first checks. In the Michigan primary, however, the debate is as much over who gets the credit as whether the bailout was a good idea. The stew has a variety of ingredients, ranging from Mitt Romney and President George W. Bush to President Barack Obama and the UAW. It all brings to mind the old saying: “Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.”
Source: Forbes

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Peugeot May Sell 7% Stake to GM in Alliance

PSA Peugeot Citroen may announce as soon as this week plans to sell a stake of about 7 percent in the French carmaker to General Motors Co. as part of a development alliance, people familiar with the matter said. The deal would involve a standstill agreement by which GM would not take a greater holding in the Paris-based carmaker without permission, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Peugeot may offer additional shares through a rights issue as part of the transaction, the people said. A GM-Peugeot alliance may include developing engines and building vehicles together in the region, a person familiar said last week.
Source: Bloomberg

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Fiat Eyes Would-Be Partners as Europe Stagnates

Fiat-Chrysler is searching for possible automotive alliances in the face of a flat and oversupplied European market, the chief executive of the two companies said [today]. "We're on the move," Sergio Marchionne told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event in Brussels. "We can be an active partner everywhere around the world." "We're talking to everyone," he continued. Marchionne said there were not many would-be partners left in Europe. Asked specifically about a possible alliance with Suzuki or Mazda, he replied: "There are many opportunities to look at, including those." Marchionne spoke after reports that General Motors was in advanced talks to buy a small stake in French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen as part of their proposed alliance in Europe and elsewhere.
Source: Reuters

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Toyota, GM Channel Big Bucks to YouTube

If you needed a sign of just how audacious YouTube's $100 million experiment in original content is, consider the asking price for big advertisers such as General Motors and Toyota: as much as $62 million for the exclusive on a package of "channels" in categories such as music or pop culture. No one has paid that yet. Early deals are in the $5 million to $10 million range, but the aggressive asking price reflects the ambition for YouTube's 96 premium "channels," designed to bring to the site TV-like appointment viewing, as well as TV-like advertising dollars.
Source: Advertising Age

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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. For more information, visit www.nada.org.

 
Quotable
"We received a very important decision today."

   
-- Dealer attorney Leonard Bellavia, referring to the federal ruling handed down Monday, which allows terminated Chrysler dealers from the 2009 bankruptcy to proceed with their lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department, Automotive News, Feb. 27



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