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Inside this issue
Past NADA President Warren McEleney Dies at 90
Recovery Hits Red-Hot Stage 2
GM's Akerson Predicts Stronger Sales in 2012
Dealers Find Opportunity in Hiring Veterans
The Electric Car, Unplugged
Small SUV Ready for Prime Time, Ford Says
Don Draper, Gearhead?
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Past NADA President Warren McEleney Dies at 90

Warren J. McEleney, 90, president of the National Automobile Dealers Association in 1971, passed away Friday, March 23. Mr. McEleney, who served on NADA’s board of directors representing Iowa from 1966 to 1976, began his career with McEleney Motors in Clinton, Iowa, in 1946. He’s the father of John McEleney, who served as NADA chairman in 2009. The McEleneys were the first father and son to lead the association. “Mr. McEleney was an exceptionally respected and beloved leader in the automobile industry and in his community,” said NADA President Phil Brady. Memorials may be made to Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish, 1105 Lametta Wynn Dr., Clinton, IA 52732. Online condolences may be left at www.papefh.com. Expressions of sympathy may also be sent to John and Ginny McEleney, 1111 Melody Hills, Fulton, IL 61252.
Source: NADA Newsroom

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Recovery Hits Red-Hot Stage 2

Strong March sales show surge has gone beyond 'need to replace' crowd
This year's faster-than-expected sales recovery has entered a key new phase: "Want" buyers are joining the "need to replace" buyers who have been carrying the market. With the strong February selling rate continuing into March, optimistic carmakers and analysts are boosting full-year industry sales forecasts. Executives, dealers and analysts say pent-up demand has been unleashed, and lenders are making it easier for shoppers to do deals. But in a new development, they say consumers who simply want a slick new ride are turning up in showrooms, not just buyers who are trading in high-mileage vehicles. Dealers across the country sound confident, especially at high-flying brands such as Hyundai. "Sales are tracking better than our best month ever," said Andrew DiFeo, CEO of Hyundai of St. Augustine in Florida. "The automotive market is really coming back."
Source: Automotive News

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GM's Akerson Predicts Stronger Sales in 2012

General Motors Co. CEO Dan Akerson thinks U.S. auto industry sales will be stronger in 2012 than the automaker had expected earlier this year. Akerson, interviewed by The Detroit News on Friday at his alma mater, the U.S. Naval Academy, said GM — especially its Chevrolet brand — is having a strong sales month. In January, GM predicted that 2012 sales in the U.S. by all automakers could reach 14 million. "I don't know if we'll get to 15 (million sales)," Akerson said Friday. "Hopefully, more than 14 (million), maybe 14.5 (million.)"
Source: The Detroit News

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Dealers Find Opportunity in Hiring Veterans

Ryan Medina, 26, isn't a typical car salesman. His first job was with the U.S. Army. Medina was stationed in Afghanistan, providing security for a convoy that was crossing the desert searching for insurgents and roadside bombs. Medina's three years in the Army, including eight months in Afghanistan, armed him with skills that he uses today to sell cars at Performance Mazda of Houston. As the U.S. government withdraws more troops from Afghanistan this year, many dealers are hiring veterans. Not only can dealers get one-time tax credits ranging from $2,400 to $9,600 for hiring veterans, says Craig Lockerd, owner of AutoMax Recruiting and Training in Mays Landing, N.J., but job recruiters and dealers say many veterans have attributes that make them strong job candidates: They know how to follow directions, pay attention to detail, respect others, are self-motivated and are trained to be leaders.
Source: Automotive News

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The Electric Car, Unplugged

The future would appear bright for the electric car. Gasoline prices are high. The government is spending billions on battery technology. Auto companies are preparing to roll out a dozen new electrified models. Concern is growing about the climate impacts of burning oil. And tough new fuel economy standards are looming. Yet the state of the electric car is dismal, the victim of hyped expectations, technological flops, high costs and a hostile political climate.
Source: The New York Times

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Small SUV Ready for Prime Time, Ford Says

TV's 'Escape Routes' rides into new territory to launch vehicle
Ford Motor Co. will break ground in advertising next week when it becomes the first automaker to launch a vehicle through prime time television. "Escape Routes," an hourlong NBC reality series produced by Ford and featuring the 2013 Ford Escape, will debut March 31. If successful, the approach could invite a new marketing model that integrates social media with TV to enlist audience participation and build buzz for a product.
Source: The Detroit News

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Don Draper, Gearhead?

In ... Sunday’s Automobiles section, Stuart Schwartzapfel profiles Ed McCabe, a real-life advertising star of the “Mad Men” era who was responsible for many of Volvo’s brand-making campaigns of the 1960s and ’70s. Meanwhile, as the fifth season of “Mad Men” kick[ed] off Sunday night after a 17-month hiatus, the show has left the Wheels blog with a few unanswered questions. First, Don Draper hasn’t bought a new car since he splurged for the Caddy during the show’s second season. Isn’t it about time he traded in for a new model, maybe something sportier, or at least easier to park in the Village? Or, having become a city-dweller, does he blow his expense account on cabs?
Source: The New York Times

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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 have found that people that came out of the military are very sure of themselves and have some basis of training discipline."

   
-- Tim Allen, service manager at McRee Ford in Dickinson, Texas, referring to a 24-year-old veteran recently hired by the dealership as a service technician, Automotive News, March 26


 

NADA - National Automobile Dealers Association

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