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Inside this issue
Dealers Urged to Participate in Workforce Study by Submitting Data, Taking Online Survey by May 2
GM, Honda Rebound Expected to Bolster April U.S. Sales
Detroit Hopes Smaller Cars Can Give it More Horsepower
Used Prices 'Pretty Close' to Record
U.S. Regulators to Examine Electric-Car Battery Safety
A Push to Make Motors With Fewer Rare Earths
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Dealers Urged to Participate in Workforce Study by Submitting Data, Taking Online Survey by May 2

Participating dealers will receive a free individualized report comparing their own employee wages, benefits and retention to the regional and national industry.
NADA and ATD member dealers have until May 2, 2012, to take part in NADA’s new Dealership Workforce Study that will analyze employee compensation, benefits, turnover and other data. There is no cost to participate in the study. “The study will provide dealers with valuable comparative data to assess and adjust, if necessary, their employee compensation programs, health and retirement benefit packages, and find out what it takes to be competitive in recruiting new employees,” said Marilynn Youngs, senior director of NADA University. “All individual dealership data will be kept secure and remain strictly confidential.” Once the study is completed, participating dealers will receive a free copy of the Basic Report that compares their individual dealership to the regional and national industry as well as the Driven management guide summary report. “So far, dealer participation has been strong and dealers are telling us that it’s quick and easy to complete the survey,” Youngs added. To participate in the 2012 Dealership Workforce Study, visit www.nadaworkforcestudy.com. For more information or questions, contact Cynthia R. Cook with NADA University at (703) 821-7197 or ccook@nada.org.
Source: NADA Newsroom

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GM, Honda Rebound Expected to Bolster April U.S. Sales

U.S. auto makers should enjoy their best April on a daily basis since 2007, delivering 1.18 million vehicles over 24 selling days, according to a WardsAuto forecast. The projected volume would equate to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14.4 million units, slightly more than last month’s 14.3 million SAAR but less than the overall first-quarter’s 14.5 million.
Source: WardsAuto

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Detroit Hopes Smaller Cars Can Give it More Horsepower

Detroit has shown it has the chops to compete in the U.S. passenger car market. Now it needs to show it can compete profitably. High gasoline prices and changing consumer preferences are fundamentally altering the way the U.S. car business works. The decades-old trend towards buying more pickups and sport-utility vehicles has reversed. In 2005, passenger cars made up just 46% of the U.S. light vehicle market, according to the Commerce Department. In the first quarter of 2012, they accounted for a seasonally adjusted 53%.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Used Prices 'Pretty Close' to Record

Prices of late-model used vehicles will peak for the year in the next few weeks, then gradually fall, ending the year close to January levels, analysts say. Used-vehicle prices have climbed because of low used-vehicle inventory, high gasoline prices and demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. NADA Used Car Guide's Larry Dixon expects prices of 1- to 5-year-old used vehicles to follow seasonal patterns and peak in late April or May, with the average price about 6 percent higher than in January. He expects overall prices to post a 1.5 percent gain for the year, vs. a 3 percent rise in 2011. "Prices will continue to increase over the course of the year, but not at the pace that we saw last year," Dixon says.
Source: Automotive News

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U.S. Regulators to Examine Electric-Car Battery Safety

The U.S. auto-safety regulator said it will hold a forum on lithium-ion batteries in electric cars next month, almost a year after a General Motors Co. Chevrolet Volt caught fire following crash-testing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced [Friday] a meeting May 18 in Washington to convene government officials and auto and battery-industry representatives to talk about “safety considerations” for cars powered by lithium-ion batteries.
Source: Bloomberg

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A Push to Make Motors With Fewer Rare Earths

For much of the last century, the straightforward solution to making a car perform better has been to install a bigger engine. In the hybrids and electric cars of coming years, however, the answer might be installing motors with more powerful magnets. Until the 1980s, the most powerful magnets available were those made from an alloy containing samarium and cobalt. But mining and processing those metals presented challenges....
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
"The more data collected, the better the final output will be for dealers. The study will be a useful tool when looking at employee compensation and benefits packages."

    -- NADA 20 Group member Jeffrey M. Weber, president and general manager of Anderson-Weber, Inc. in Dubuque, Iowa, referring to NADA's new Dealership Workforce Study that will analyze employee compensation, benefits, turnover and other data, NADA Newsroom, April 23


"[Depleted] inventories are starting to be rebuilt and 2012 is set to be a huge product year for the Japanese."

    -- Chris Richter, a Tokyo-based auto analyst for CLSA Asia-Pacific, The Wall Street Journal, April 22


 

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