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Inside this issue
LEGISLATIVE ALERT: NADA to Dealers: Tell Senators to Vote 'No' Today on 'Tax Transferability' (Menendez-Burr) Amendment
Retail Sales in U.S. Probably Rose in February, Lifted by Autos
This Time, Pricey Gas May Not Spur Small-Car Sales
GM Dealers Run Short of 4-Cylinder Crossovers
Carmakers to Feds: Target All Electronic Devices
How Mulally Was Courted to Lead Ford
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
LEGISLATIVE ALERT: NADA to Dealers: Tell Senators to Vote 'No' Today on 'Tax Transferability' (Menendez-Burr) Amendment

The Senate is expected to vote today on an amendment from Senators Menendez (D-N.J.) and Burr (R-N.C.) to provide natural gas vehicle tax credits for both cars and medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The amendment includes language that would make these tax credits “transferable” to the dealer, allowing the dealer to provide a point-of-sale discount and then be reimbursed by the IRS. "This tax provision is unworkable and would create confusion in the natural gas vehicle market," says David Regan, NADA vice president of legislative affairs.

NADA is strongly opposed to this amendment. NADA is urging dealers to call their Senators today through the U.S. Capitol operator at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to vote “No” on the Menendez-Burr amendment.
Source: NADA Legislative Office

Editor’s note: For more information,
click here for the Legislative Alert sent to all dealers as well as NADA’s letter to Senators expressing opposition. Contact NADA’s Legislative Office at (202) 547-5500 or legislative@nada.org with any questions.

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Retail Sales in U.S. Probably Rose in February, Lifted by Autos

Retail sales in the U.S. probably rose in February by the most in five months, spurred by the strongest demand for automobiles since 2008, economists said before a report today. The 1.1 percent rise would follow a 0.4 percent gain in January, according to the median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Excluding autos, purchases may have climbed 0.7 percent. Cars last month sold at the fastest pace in four years, led by Chrysler Group LLC and a surprise gain from General Motors Co. Light-vehicle sales accelerated to a 15 million annual rate, the strongest since February 2008, according to Ward's Automotive Group.
Source: Bloomberg

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This Time, Pricey Gas May Not Spur Small-Car Sales

Americans are used to seasonal shifts
It happens nearly every year: Gasoline prices rise in the spring and sales of smaller cars spike through the summer. Pundits declare that car-buying habits are changed for good. Then gasoline prices fall, and consumers go back to buying full-sized SUVs and cars with larger engines. Some industry trackers believe 2012 will be different because this time Americans will realize that cheap gasoline isn't coming back. But increasingly automakers seem to doubt that a permanent change in consumer behavior will ever occur. As a result, they are focusing more on boosting the fuel efficiency of the entire vehicle lineup and not just adding small cars.
Source: Automotive News

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GM Dealers Run Short of 4-Cylinder Crossovers

General Motors is scrambling to increase availability of popular Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers with four-cylinder engines. For two months, tight supplies of the 2.4-liter four-cylinder versions have forced GM to restrict dealer orders for those vehicles, which account for the vast majority of Equinox and Terrain sales. That has many dealers ordering more 3.0-liter V-6 models than they would like in the face of sharply rising fuel prices.
Source: Automotive News

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Carmakers to Feds: Target All Electronic Devices

Automakers told federal regulators they should crack down on electronic devices, such as smartphones, that are brought into cars. They say that focusing on vehicles alone won't solve the problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration held the first of three hearings Monday before the agency finalizes voluntary guidelines to deter automakers from distracting drivers with vehicle electronics.
Source: The Detroit News

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How Mulally Was Courted to Lead Ford

In July 2006, Bill Ford Jr. had asked Ford Motor Co.'s board to help him find someone to save the automaker. All the big names in the automobile industry had turned Ford down. The name at the top of their new list was Alan Mulally, president of Boeing Co.'s commercial airplane division. On July 29, 2006, Bill Ford sent a Gulfstream V to Seattle to pick up Mulally and fly him to Michigan for a meeting at his home outside Ann Arbor.
Source: The Detroit News

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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

"I don't see this reshaping the buying public. We've been through these cycles for two decades, but it's never really taken. I don't see this as a chance for a sales boom for the [Chevrolet] Volt and [Nissan] Leaf."

    -- Bill Reinert, Toyota national manager of alternative fuel vehicles, referring to spikes in gasoline prices, Automotive News, March 12


 

NADA - National Automobile Dealers Association

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