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Inside this issue
Growing U.S. Economy Spurs Auto Sales Despite Gas Prices
GM Says March Best Month Ever for High MPG Model Sales
Chrysler's March Sales Rise 34% on Higher Jeep, Pickup Demand
Chevy Volt Production to be Cut in July
TrueCar Launches National Dealer Council
Flying Car Gets Closer to Reality with Test Flight
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Growing U.S. Economy Spurs Auto Sales Despite Gas Prices

Gas prices may still be rising, but with U.S. auto sales riding at close to a four-year high, consumers have not yet begun to change their behaviors, IHS Chief Economist Nariman Behravesh said today. Nationally, the average price of a gallon of gas is $3.92 and 15 states are dealing with prices above $4 per gallon. “Sixty-three percent of consumers, when surveyed, say they are worried about high gas prices,” Behravesh said today in New York City ahead of the 2012 New York International Auto Show. “Reality: They haven’t changed their behavior.” George Magliano, senior economist for IHS, estimates that sales in March for the automotive industry will top an annualized rate of 14.5 million cars and trucks. “These are tremendous numbers. Way beyond expectations,” Magliano said at a forum sponsored by consulting firm IHS and the National Automobile Dealers Association. “We are at the point where we feel the U.S. has turned the corner.”
Source: Detroit Free Press

Editor's note: CNBC is providing live coverage today of the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum in New York from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. For more information, visit www.autoforumny.com.

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GM Says March Best Month Ever for High MPG Model Sales

General Motors Co. said Monday that its 12 vehicles getting 30 mpg or better on the highway will have combined U.S. sales of 100,000 or more for March — its highest ever monthly total for the automaker. Last year, 40 percent of new GM vehicles sold had four-cylinder engines, according to GM. The automaker currently offers four models with turbocharged engines and will double that number for the 2013 model year.
Source: The Detroit News

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Chrysler's March Sales Rise 34% on Higher Jeep, Pickup Demand

Chrysler Group -- helped by higher light truck demand and a more fuel-efficient model lineup – said its U.S. sales rose 34 percent to 163,381 in March. It was the 24th consecutive month Chrysler has generated a gain in U.S. light vehicle sales. Chrysler said deliveries at the Jeep brand rose 36 percent and Ram pickup sales jumped 18 percent. Sales of the Fiat 500 minicar line reached 3,712 units -- the model's best month since its March 2011 debut.
Source: Automotive News

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Chevy Volt Production to be Cut in July

General Motors plans to halt production of the Chevrolet Volt at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant for three weeks in July, instead of the traditional two-week shutdown. "This is (a) normal part of business as managing to market demand," GM spokeswoman Michelle Malcho said in an e-mail. Volt production has been idled for a five-week stretch through April 23 because dealers had a surplus of the plug-in extended-range electric vehicle.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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TrueCar Launches National Dealer Council

TrueCar Inc., the online vehicle shopping site and lead generator, has formed a national dealer council to improve communication with auto dealers. In a statement, TrueCar said it will preview major changes to its service and policies with the 21-member council, and council members will give feedback. The formation of the council follows the March hiring of Pat Watson, former CEO of the South Carolina Automobile Dealers Association, to be TrueCar's vice president of industry relations. TrueCar also hired Ken Potter to build its network of participating dealers as vice president of dealer development. Potter had been a vice president at Internet Brands, overseeing CarsDirect.com, an online auto shopping site.
Source: Automotive News

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Flying Car Gets Closer to Reality with Test Flight

Flying cars aren't just science fiction anymore. Woburn, Mass.-based Terrafugia Inc. said Monday that its prototype flying car has completed its first flight, bringing the company closer to its goal of selling the flying car within the next year. The vehicle - dubbed the Transition - has two seats, four wheels and wings that fold up so it can be driven like a car. Last month, it flew at 1,400 feet for eight minutes. Commercial jets fly at 35,000 feet.
Source: The Associated Press

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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
"The combination of credit availability, an improving economy, pent-up demand and even high fuel prices encouraging people to acquire newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles are all helping to drive industry sales."

   
-- Reid Bigland, head of the Dodge brand and U.S. sales operations for Chrysler, Automotive News, April 3. (Bigland is part of a manufacturer panel discussion today at the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum in New York.)


 

NADA - National Automobile Dealers Association

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