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Inside this issue
With Dealers, Auto Makers Lighten Up, Listen Up
Beige Book: Dealers Faring Well Throughout Most of U.S.
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs at Volkswagen, Parts Maker in U.S.
Study: Proposed Fuel Economy Rules Cut 7 Million Car Buyers Out of New-Vehicle Market
Test Explodes Electric-Car Battery, Injuring General Motors Lab Worker
U.S. Lowers GM Bailout Losses
I.I.H.S. Study Suggests Child-Seat Anchor Systems Require Rethinking
Chrysler Wins Court Challenge by Dismissed Calif. Dealer
There's Still a Strong Demand for Muscle Cars
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
With Dealers, Auto Makers Lighten Up, Listen Up
By Steve Finlay

No one in the auto industry gets closer to car buyers than dealers. Auto makers finally realize the importance of what that means. In the past, including the not-so-distant-past, the so-called “factory” could get heavy-handed in trying to boss dealers around. Particularly egregious was demanding that dealers order more inventory, including models that sold poorly. Auto makers have wised up in other ways, too. They realize that, while they are the experts in producing cars, dealers are the pros at selling them. “We should let dealers be dealers, and not come in and tell them how to run their businesses,” Reid Bigland, head of Chrysler’s Dodge brand, says at an auto conference put on by the National Dealers Assn. and IHS. “Let dealers do their own thing.”
Source: WardsAuto

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Beige Book: Dealers Faring Well Throughout Most of U.S.

In discussing how car dealers are faring in each of its 12 districts, the Federal Reserve painted a picture of an auto market that appears, for the most part, to be relatively healthy. In the Fed's latest Beige Book report, gains were noted on both the retail and manufacturing sides of the car business. Dealers in most districts appear to be in pretty good shape. “New-vehicle sales were reported as strong or strengthening across much of the United States,” the Fed emphasized in the report, later adding: “Automobile sales were reported as stronger or strengthening during late February and early March in most Districts.”
Source: Auto Remarketing

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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs at Volkswagen, Parts Maker in U.S.

The march of new jobs in the auto industry goes on. Volkswagen is launching an ad campaign to promote its 1,000 jobs at its new plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., and a major auto parts supplier plans to create hundreds of jobs in West Virginia. Volkswagen is conducting a national search in the U.S. to fill the most specialized of 1,000 new jobs at its Chattanooga plant, the Associated Press says. The German automaker says it's using a national print and online advertising campaign to fill specialty positions, including maintenance technicians, manufacturing engineers and logistics supervisors.
Source: USA Today

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Study: Proposed Fuel Economy Rules Cut 7 Million Car Buyers Out of New-Vehicle Market

NADA: New-vehicle dealers support fuel economy increases if affordable for consumers
NADA released a study today indicating that higher vehicle prices resulting from proposed fuel economy rules will cut millions of potential new-car buyers out of the market in 2025. “To work, fuel economy improvements must be affordable,” said Don Chalmers, president of Don Chalmers Ford in Rio Rancho, N.M., at a press briefing today. “While you can mandate what automakers must build, you can’t dictate what customers will buy, nor can you dictate if a bank will make a loan.” The NADA study, “The Effect of Proposed MY 2017-2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards on the New Vehicle Market Population,” points out that nearly 7 million lower income consumers, such as college students and working families, will not qualify for auto financing to cover the additional cost. “Disregarding vehicle affordability will undermine the environmental and national security benefits the administration is seeking,” said Doug Greenhaus, NADA’s chief regulatory counsel for environment, health and safety. “The proposed MY 2017-2025 fuel economy rules should be delayed until there is a more accurate picture of how prospective buyers likely will react.”
Source: NADA Newsroom

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Test Explodes Electric-Car Battery, Injuring General Motors Lab Worker

A123 Systems' lithium-ion battery explodes during car maker's 'extreme' test
General Motors Co. said an electric-car battery undergoing tests at a Warren, Mich., research center exploded, sending an employee to the hospital. The lithium-ion battery exploded at about 9 a.m. Wednesday at GM's Technical Center, where the auto maker designs and develops new vehicles, a spokesman said. Emergency personnel examined five employees on the scene and transported one to a local hospital, he said. The explosion is the latest glitch in the auto industry's efforts to bring electric vehicles to market.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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U.S. Lowers GM Bailout Losses

Treasury Dept. says forecast improves with stock price
The Treasury Department has reduced its forecast for auto bailout losses by more than $2 billion as General Motors stock price has improved. In a monthly report to Congress released Tuesday, the Treasury estimates losses from the $85 billion auto bailout of $21.7 billion, down from $23.77 billion. GM's stock is up about 19 percent in 2012, closing at $24.03 Wednesday. But it is still off 27 percent over its $33 November 2010 price at its initial public offering.
Source: The Detroit News

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I.I.H.S. Study Suggests Child-Seat Anchor Systems Require Rethinking

Almost 10 years after the federal government required it in all passenger vehicles, the so-called Latch system is still managing to frustrate parents intent on protecting their children. Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, or Latch, was intended to ease the process of properly installing child restraints in vehicles. But automakers design seats in ways that make Latch difficult to use, according to a joint research project conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit financed by the insurance industry, and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
Source: The New York Times

Editor’s note:
For years, new-car dealers across the country have provided free child passenger safety seat inspections as a public service at their dealerships. Recently, the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation announced a new Road Safety Grant Program designed to support dealer involvement in their communities by raising consumer awareness of road safety issues. Click here for more details.

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Chrysler Wins Court Challenge by Dismissed Calif. Dealer

Chrysler Group has prevailed in its defense against a dismissed dealer suing for reinstatement after the company terminated 789 franchises during its 2009 restructuring. A federal judge in California dismissed the case brought by Star Chrysler-Jeep in Glendale, Calif., saying Chrysler met federal requirements when it offered the dealership a chance to return.
Source: Automotive News

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There's Still a Strong Demand for Muscle Cars

Carroll Shelby has never shied away from a challenge – especially one he’s set for himself.  And ever since teaming up with one-time Ford President Lee Iacocca back in the mid-1960s, Shelby continually has found ways to pump more power out of the back wheels of a Mustang. His latest effort, on display at the NY Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, is the Shelby 1000, which makes a cool 950 horsepower on the street, 1,100 hp in the track edition. Shelby isn’t alone. The halls of the Javits Center are filled with an array of high-performance models, including the new Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG, at 621 hp, and the 593 hp McLaren MP4-12C. Barely two decades ago, a top-line performer such as the Porsche 911 could barely squeeze out 200 ponies. Today, there are more than 70 models making at least 500, and a baker’s dozen top 600 hp.
Source: msnbc.com

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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 should let dealers be dealers, and not come in and tell them how to run their businesses." 

   
-- Reid Bigland, head of Chrysler's Dodge brand, in remarks at the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum in New York, WardsAuto, April 11


"If my customers can't buy what I've got to sell, there are no savings at the gas pump and there is no environmental benefit."

   
-- Don Chalmers, president of Don Chalmers Ford in Rio Rancho, N.M., in a press briefing today, referring to a new NADA study indicating that higher vehicle prices resulting from the proposed fuel economy rules will cut millions of new-car buyers out of the market in 2025, NADA Newsroom, April 12
 


 

NADA - National Automobile Dealers Association

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