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Inside this issue
Higher Gas Prices Not Hurting Auto Sales Yet
Volkswagen Adding 800 Jobs at Tenn. Passat Plant
CNW: Used Sales Approach 6-Percent Hike; Franchised Dealers Hit Price Peak
Peugeot Says Weighing Broader Cooperation with GM
Gas Tops $6 a Gallon in Alaska
Megadealer Still Likes to Work the Floor
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Top Stories
Higher Gas Prices Not Hurting Auto Sales Yet

For automakers, 2012 looks like it will be better than expected -- at least in the U.S. U.S. consumers are on pace to buy about 1.4 million new cars and trucks in March, or about 6% more than in the same month last year. That would put the industry on pace to sell 14.1 million for the year, which is higher than most industry analysts expected at the start of 2012, when analysts were predicting sales of less than 14 million.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Volkswagen Adding 800 Jobs at Tenn. Passat Plant

Volkswagen will add 800 new jobs at its Chattanooga, Tenn., plant to boost production of the Passat sedan. The new jobs will increase the plant's work force to more to 3,500 by the end of the year, the German company said Thursday. The additional workers will be used to bolster the existing two shifts at the plant, and expand production to Saturday, it said. "We're adding a third team at this plant for a simple reason: Customers want to buy Passats," said Jonathan Browning, the president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America.
Source: The Associated Press

Editor's note: Browning, along with Ford's Jim Farley, Toyota's Jim Lentz, BMW's Ludwig Willisch and Chrysler Group's Reid Bigland, will provide their industry perspectives during a panel session at the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum in New York on April 3. The panel session, which is part of a one-day forum, will be moderated by AutoNation's Mike Jackson. To register or for more information, visit And follow the forum on Facebook ( and Twitter (!/AutoForumNY). The hashtag is #NADAIHS.

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CNW: Used Sales Approach 6-Percent Hike; Franchised Dealers Hit Price Peak

The used-vehicle market is expected to climb more than 5 percent this month and eclipse 2.6 million sales, according to CNW Market Research, which has also found that used transaction prices for franchised dealers are the strongest they’ve been in a year. Overall, CNW is projecting 2.64 million used sales this month, a 5.6-percent rise compared to a used market of just less than 2.5 million sales a year ago. Franchised dealers are projected to pull in 905,000 used sales (up 3.1 percent year-over-year), and independents will likely move 875,000 units (down 5.5 percent).
Source: Auto Remarketing

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Peugeot Says Weighing Broader Cooperation with GM

PSA Peugeot Citroen and General Motors may expand their alliance plan to cover more vehicle categories and technologies, the French automaker said on Friday. The companies may share larger vehicles, dual-clutch transmissions and a small car for emerging markets including Latin America, Peugeot said, in addition to pooled development and production of subcompacts and mid-sized cars, announced last month. GM and Peugeot announced their broad-based alliance on February 29, pledging savings from shared purchasing costs, research and development, vehicle platforms and production.
Source: Reuters

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Gas Tops $6 a Gallon in Alaska

Forget $5 a gallon. In Alaska, you could be paying more than $6 a gallon. It's already happening at a handful of gas stations in one town. Alaska may be one of the country's biggest oil-producing states, but it doesn't appear to be helping with gas prices. If gas prices keep rising, used pickup prices are likely to take a dive. How bad? Analysts for the National Automobile Dealers Association say prices could sink by up to 22%, Automotive News reports. Larry Dixon, an analyst for NADA's Used Car Guide, said recent instability in the Middle East and increasing demand in global markets prompted the guide's analysts to put together three scenarios regarding what may happen to the prices of used vehicles if gas prices reach $4, $4.50 and $5 per gallon.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Megadealer Still Likes to Work the Floor

Employees at Capital Ford in Raleigh, NC, know boss Tim Michael as the “Energizer bunny.” He’s everywhere. “He is always available for customers and employees. Most of his time is spent in sales, but he keeps abreast of parts, service and body shop – everything,” says Jerry Mosley, Capital Ford’s general manager and a 27-year company veteran. The dealership is part of the Capital Automotive Group that also sells Lincoln, Mazda, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Suzuki and Nissan brands throughout North and South Carolina. “I still like to work the floor,” Michael admits.
Source: WardsAuto

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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

"Twenty-five percent of the Volkswagens sold in America will be made in Tennessee now."

-- Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, referring to the automakers Passat plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., which is adding 800 new jobs, The Associated Press, March 22



NADA - National Automobile Dealers Association


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