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Inside this issue
Auto Makers React Differently to Dealership Upgrade Study
Few Hybrid Vehicle Owners Are Repeat Buyers
Poll: Americans Think Auto Bailouts Helped Economy
NADA: Used Car Prices in 2012 Set to Peak in April
GM Sees New Models Staging Rebound From 90-Year U.S. Low
More Than Moving Metal; Hyundai Drives Brand Makeover
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Auto Makers React Differently to Dealership Upgrade Study

Auto makers are showing mixed reactions to a study that urges them to present better business cases before spurring dealers to upgrade their facilities. The National Automobile Dealers Assn. commissioned the report, released in February at the trade group’s annual convention. Since then, NADA officers have met with auto makers to review the findings. “We’ve had 12 meetings so far, and we’ve seen different reactions,” NADA Chairman William Underriner [said April 3] at an NADA/IHS conference that [was] part of the [New York] auto show. OEMs’ insistence on facility upgrades is a primary dealer concern because of the financial burdens, says Underriner. He plans to bring up the study at 30 auto maker meetings tied to NADA’s annual dealer-attitude survey. Dealers mostly support the concept of facility upgrades but are critical of the economics, study overseer [Glenn] Mercer says. Asked what struck him the most in conducting his research, Mercer replies, “I was surprised that an industry so quantitatively driven” shows little evidence of why it should make sense for dealers to improve their stores to the extent asked by the auto makers. “I can’t imagine product developers going into a meeting and simply saying, ‘We think this car is great and will really sell.’”
Source: WardsAuto

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Few Hybrid Vehicle Owners Are Repeat Buyers

Although the number of hybrid models in the U.S. continues to grow, few people who own one are sticking with the technology when they go to buy another car. Only 35% of hybrid vehicle owners chose to buy another hybrid when they returned to the market in 2011, according to a study by R.L. Polk & Co., the automotive consulting firm. About 75,000 hybrid owners went new car shopping last year. If you factor out the super-loyal Toyota Prius buyers, the repurchase rate drops to less than 25%. Consumers in regions such as Southern California and Seattle, where hybrid sales are strongest, are no more likely to be repeat customers than buyers in other parts of the nation, according to the Polk study. Hybrid vehicles represent just 2.4% of the overall new vehicle market in the U.S., according to Polk, down from a high of 2.9% in 2008.
Source: Los Angeles Times

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Poll: Americans Think Auto Bailouts Helped Economy

The public is far more supportive of the auto industry bailouts than the government’s decision to bail out distressed financial giants in 2009, according to a Harris poll released [Monday] morning. About 45% of those polled said the federal government’s decision to extend more than $77 billion in emergency loans and bankruptcy financing to General Motors and Chrysler in 2009 “helped” the economy, according to the online poll conducted by market research firm Harris Interactive between March 12 and 19. Harris surveyed 2,451 adults and found that about 29% of Americans say the auto bailouts “hurt” the economy. About 5% were unsure.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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NADA: Used Car Prices in 2012 Set to Peak in April

Trade-in values on used cars are expected to peak over the next few weeks, said Jonathan Banks, executive automotive analyst with the NADA Used Car Guide. “While prices for all used-vehicle segments will remain stable over the next two months, compact and mid-size cars will appreciate in value and outpace other segments because of rising gasoline prices, shortage of inventory and strong consumer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles,” Banks said. Used values for the compact and mid-size car segments grew by an average of $300 or 2.6 percent from March to April, and values have grown by an average of $500 or 4.3 percent since the start of the year, according to the NADA Used Car Guide.
Source: NADA Newsroom

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GM Sees New Models Staging Rebound From 90-Year U.S. Low

General Motors Co. Vice Chairman Stephen Girsky said last week the automaker wasn’t panicking over its U.S. market share slide. Ohio dealer Robert Morris III sees why. “There’s a little bit of new-product lag involved and you kind of have to wait it out,” said Morris, who sells Cadillac, Buick and GMC brand vehicles in North Olmsted, about 25 minutes southwest of Cleveland. “I don’t perceive them as taking a wait-and-see attitude or just taking it on the chin.” At 17.5 percent, GM’s U.S. market share through March “may have surprised some people,” Girsky, 49, told analysts April 4. It’s below the 19 percent level that was the average full-year estimate of five analysts Bloomberg surveyed in January. GM finished 2011 with 19.6 percent of the U.S. market, according to researcher Autodata Corp. The last time it ended a year with 17.5 percent market share or less was 1922.
Source: Bloomberg

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More Than Moving Metal; Hyundai Drives Brand Makeover

Oh Kwang-teak recently spent $310 on a haircut and beauty care at a salon in Seoul's upscale Cheongdamdong district before splashing out $1,100 at a five-star hotel, which, if asked, will fill your bath with chocolate milk. He also visited Hermes and Cartier stores, while his wife had an expensive massage. All in the name of research. Oh sells Hyundai Motor cars and is part of a select group of the South Korean firm's dealers tasked with seeing first-hand what makes premium service brands tick -- and applying that to Hyundai cars. His pampering illustrates how the Asian automaker is trying to burnish a reputation for quality and banish the jibes of the past....
Source: Reuters

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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 study has added perspective, focused the issues and moved things in the right direction. We as dealers understand that customer relations and facilities are important. So there has to be reasonableness here."

   
-- Thomas “Mack” McLarty III, president of a family dealership group operating in the U.S., China and South America, referring to a study, commissioned by NADA, on factory-mandated dealership upgrades, WardsAuto, April 5


"While prices for all used-vehicle segments will remain stable over the next two months, compact and mid-size cars will appreciate in value and outpace other segments because of rising gasoline prices, shortage of inventory and strong consumer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles."

   
-- Jonathan Banks, senior analyst with the NADA Used Car Guide, says trade-in values on used cars in 2012 will peak over the next few weeks, NADA Newsroom, April 10 


 

NADA - National Automobile Dealers Association

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