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Inside this issue
CEO: Fiat Pursues 100% of Chrysler
Toyota Increases U.S. Auto Sales Forecast on Consumer Confidence
N.Y. Auto Show: Lineups Get More Frequent Refreshes
FTC Charges that Auto Loan Schemes Falsely Promised They Could Stop Consumers' Cars from Being Repossessed
For Detroit, a Path to Recovery Under State Oversight
Ferdinand A. Porsche, Designer of the 911, Dies at 76
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
CEO: Fiat Pursues 100% of Chrysler

Italian automaker's investors vote to create common stock
Fiat SpA took a step closer to a full merger with Chrysler Group LLC after the Italian carmaker's shareholders approved a simplified capital structure with the creation of a single class of common stock. Fiat is interested in getting "100 percent" of Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, who runs both automakers, told reporters in Turin on Thursday after Fiat's annual shareholders meeting. Fiat owns 58.5 percent of Auburn Hills-based Chrysler and Marchionne, 59, plans to combine the two manufacturers to boost sales to more than 100 billion euros ($132 billion) by 2014 and form a global player out of the regional carmakers.
Source: Bloomberg

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Toyota Increases U.S. Auto Sales Forecast on Consumer Confidence

Toyota Motor Corp. raised its forecast for 2012 industrywide U.S. sales of cars and light trucks to the low- to mid-14 million unit range from 13.6 million, citing rising consumer confidence. U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 13 percent in the year’s first quarter to 3.47 million. Toyota, Asia’s largest automaker, followed Ford Motor Co. in boosting its 2012 forecast. Ford on April 4 projected that U.S. vehicle sales, including medium- and heavy-duty trucks, would total 14.5 million to 15 million, up from a previous estimate of 13.5 million to 14.5 million.
Source: Bloomberg
 

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N.Y. Auto Show: Lineups Get More Frequent Refreshes

Automakers — buoyed by rising sales, healthier balance sheets and a fiercely competitive market — are rolling out more new products than ever to woo customers into showrooms. At this week's New York International Auto Show, automakers unveiled more new offerings at the show than usual. In all, more than 30 new models were shown here: mid-size cars, luxury models, SUVs, pickups and electric vehicles. The New York show, which in some years focused largely on luxury models, is the last major event before the Paris Auto Show in September. The show here had luxury reveals like the Lincoln MKZ, Mercedes GL-Class, Lexus ES and BMW X1. But much of the focus was on the mainstream market. To win consumers, automakers are unveiling new designs aimed at making an emotional connection with customers, and to stand out in a field crowded with ever-more efficient models.
Source: The Detroit News

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FTC Charges that Auto Loan Schemes Falsely Promised They Could Stop Consumers' Cars from Being Repossessed

"Hope for Car Owners" and "Auto Debt Consulting" Took Fees, But Failed to Modify Loans
The Federal Trade Commission filed charges and requested that a U.S. district court put a stop to the allegedly deceptive tactics of two California-based auto loan modification operations. The FTC asserted that the two separate operations charged hundreds of dollars in up-front fees, based on bogus promises that they could reduce consumers’ monthly car loan payments and help avoid repossession of their vehicles. Consumers were instructed to pay fees to the companies, and to stop paying their auto lenders.  Subsequently, at least one consumer’s car was repossessed, and one set of defendants told other consumers to “hide [their] car[s] to avoid repossession.”
Source: FTC

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For Detroit, a Path to Recovery Under State Oversight

Other cities and towns have teetered at the edge of financial disaster lately, but Detroit, the capital of America’s auto industry and once the nation’s fourth-largest city, has just become the most striking test case for a key question: Can a city that has fallen so far be saved? A giant plot of land — 139 square miles — with only half the residents it once had, Detroit has watched in recent years as tax revenues have slipped too low to support its costs, its debts have swelled to a stunning $12 billion, and, this spring, its money nearly ran out. Now, after months of wrangling over how and when and whether the State of Michigan should intervene to stem the hemorrhaging finances, officials here said that a historic deal, approved Wednesday, granting the state oversight powers puts Detroit on a path to recovery at last.
Source: The New York Times

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Ferdinand A. Porsche, Designer of the 911, Dies at 76

Ferdinand A. Porsche, who designed the original Porsche 911, the snazzy, powerful sports car that became the lasting signature of the German automobile company founded by his grandfather and later run by his father, died on Thursday in Salzburg, Austria. He was 76.
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
"We're starting to see improvement in consumer confidence and, combined with rising fuel prices and aging vehicles, the market is starting to move. It's happening quicker than anyone thought."

   
-- Bob Carter, Toyota’s group vice president for U.S. sales, told reporters at the New York auto show, Bloomberg, April 5


 

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