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Inside this issue
U.S. Sales Soar as Market Drivers Get 'Better ... Better ... Better'
Chrysler Leads Feb. Sales Gains as Industry Volume Jumps 16%
Next Up: Industry Leaders Focus on NADA/IHS Automotive Forum in NYC
As Gas Prices Rise, Detroit Is Ready
Kansas Auto Dealer Creates Scholarship Fund through NADA Foundation's Ambassador Program
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
U.S. Sales Soar as Market Drivers Get 'Better ... Better ... Better'

Boom. February U.S. auto sales soared 16 percent over a strong year-ago period to the fastest selling rate in four years. The performance exceeded analysts' and automakers' forecasts. Sales of 1,149,432 light vehicles pushed February's seasonally adjusted annual selling rate to 15.1 million, well above January's 14.2 million SAAR and the highest since February 2008. A late-month surge in retail sales exceeded "everybody's expectations," said Toyota brand General Manager Bob Carter. "Three things are driving the market: the economy is getting better, job reports are getting better [and] consumer confidence is getting better," he said in a conference call today. And rising fuel prices "are pulling ahead some volume we wouldn't see until later in the year."
Source: Automotive News

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Chrysler Leads Feb. Sales Gains as Industry Volume Jumps 16%

SAAR hits 4-year high of 15.1M amid 'positive signs'
U.S. auto sales led by Chrysler Group surged 16 percent in February, giving the industry its strongest showing in four years in a fresh sign that the recovery is gaining more traction. "February felt great," said Al Castignetti, vice president of U.S. sales for Nissan North America, which set a February record in posting a 16 percent gain. "Consumer demand is coming back, and I think it's coming back fairly aggressively." BMW Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda and VW Group were among companies with gains of 30 percent or more. Hyundai-Kia surged 26 percent, aided by a 37 percent gain at Kia. Ken Czubay, head of sales and marketing at Ford Motor Co., said "sales momentum built as February unfolded, with higher fuel prices driving consumer demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles in the second half of the month." The drop in heating costs resulting from the warmer winter also helped offset somewhat higher gasoline costs for consumers, Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association, said [Thursday.]
Source: Automotive News

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Next Up: Industry Leaders Focus on NADA/IHS Automotive Forum in NYC
By William P. Underriner / NADA Chairman

No one with ties to the auto industry can afford to go it alone.
With the economy picking up steam, it’s important to focus on the best ways you can really boost your business. That’s why the theme of this year’s NADA/IHS Automotive Forum 2012—“Defining Success in the Automotive Industry: Staying Competitive in an Uncertain World”—is right on target. Held in New York City on April 3, the Automotive Forum 2012 is sponsored by the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and industry consultant IHS. The New York International Auto Show hosts the event at the Grand Hyatt New York. The day-long forum brings together dealers, automakers, analysts and financial providers to discuss various economic factors that will affect the industry as a whole—and your individual slice. To register or find out more about the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum 2012, visit www.autoforumny.com.
Source: NADA Newsroom

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As Gas Prices Rise, Detroit Is Ready

Gas prices are spiking. But this time, Detroit is ready. When prices soared in 2008, the city's three U.S. automakers were caught flat-footed. They didn't have competitive small cars and relied on trucks and SUVs for profits. When gas prices peaked at $4.12 in July of that year, sales from the Big Three plummeted more than 20 percent. That same month, sales of the fuel-sipping Toyota Corolla jumped 16 percent. Fast forward to February 2012. Overall U.S. auto sales rose 16 percent to 1.1 million last month, largely on the strength of Detroit's small cars. The annual sales pace hit 15.1 million, the best rate in four years.
Source: The Associated Press

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Kansas Auto Dealer Creates Scholarship Fund through NADA Foundation's Ambassador Program


Dale Willey (left), chairman of the NADA Foundation's Ambassadors program, recognizes auto dealer Les Eck as an Ambassador of Distinction at the Kansas Auto Dealers Association’s annual meeting in Topeka, Kan., Feb. 22.

Kansas new-car dealer Les Eck is creating an annual scholarship fund of $2,000 to benefit college-bound students from his high school alma mater in Haven, Kan., set up by the Ambassadors program of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation. Each year, a male and a female student from Haven High School, based on their financial need, will be chosen to receive a $1,000 scholarship to start their college careers, said Eck, who grew up in the city and graduated from the high school in 1970. Eck, 59, a second generation auto dealer, set up the scholarship fund with a $30,000 donation to the NADA Foundation. He named Rusty Eck Ford—the dealership founded in Haven by his father in 1953—as an Ambassador of Distinction. He plans to award the scholarships every year in May.
Source: NADA Newsroom

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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
"Three things are driving the market: the economy is getting better, job reports are getting better [and] consumer confidence is getting better."

   
-- Toyota brand General Manager Bob Carter, referring to February's seasonally adjusted annual selling rate of 15.1 million, Automotive News, March 1



NADA - National Automobile Dealers Association

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