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Inside this issue
U.S. Sales Rise 2% in April; SAAR Stays at 14.4 Million
Chrysler Has Its Best April in 4 Years; Ford, GM Down
Toyota Rebounds with Sales Up 12% on Camry, Prius Surge
Euro Makers: VW, Audi, Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes All Gain
NADA: Aging Vehicles, Increased Inventory and Lower Gasoline Prices to Boost Auto Sales
Ally Boosts Dealer Credit Lines
Automakers' U.S. April Incentive Spend Rose 4.7%, Autodata Says
April Sales of Electric Cars Fall Despite High Gas Prices
Ford Starting Third Shift at Cleveland Plant to Keep Up with EcoBoost Engine Demand
How Chinese Drivers Will Influence Your Next Car
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top 10 Stories
U.S. Sales Rise 2% in April; SAAR Stays at 14.4 Million

U.S. light vehicle sales rose 2 percent last month to 1.2 million units, slightly above analysts' expectations, as consumers continued to snap up new cars and other fuel-efficient models at a faster clip than trucks and SUVs. In another sign the U.S. auto industry continues a steady recovery, light vehicles sold at an annualized rate of 14.4 million last month. That's up from 13.1 million a year earlier and matched March's 14.4 million rate. While the recent dip in gasoline prices helped spur sales, low inventories constrained deliveries at some automakers, said Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association. "New car sales reflect the patch of slower economic growth currently," Taylor said. "By the end of May, we will know how much sales in the first four months of the year were a result of a particularly warm first quarter."
Source: Automotive News

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Chrysler Has Its Best April in 4 Years; Ford, GM Down

Automakers reported another month of solid sales Tuesday as strong performance by Chrysler Group LLC and a resurgent Toyota Motor Corp. helped boost overall industry sales 2.3 percent in the U.S., easing concerns that the industry's strong first-quarter numbers were unsustainable. And those numbers only tell part of the story. This April had three fewer selling days and one less weekend than April 2011.
Source: The Detroit News

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Toyota Rebounds with Sales Up 12% on Camry, Prius Surge

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.'s April sales jumped 12 percent over last year's results, trailing stumbling Ford Motor Co. by just 1,614 units. Toyota's April market share -- 15 percent -- is the automaker's strongest showing since December 2010. "Toyota was America's No. 1 retail brand for the second straight month," Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter said. "With consumer confidence improving, we expect to see sustained industry growth in the months ahead."
Source: Automotive News

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Euro Makers: VW, Audi, Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes All Gain

Volkswagen said [Tuesday] it scored its best April sales since the 1971 heyday of the Beetle and the Microbus and soared 31.5% over April a year ago. It was a seventh consecutive month of sales gains of 30% or more, as VW sold 37,525 vehicles.
Source: USA Today

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NADA: Aging Vehicles, Increased Inventory and Lower Gasoline Prices to Boost Auto Sales

While automakers reported mixed results for U.S. new-vehicle sales in April, Paul Taylor, NADA chief economist, highlighted several factors that are expected to boost sales over the next several months. “Modest economic growth and declining gasoline prices, low interest rates, more leasing options and aging vehicles that need to be replaced will likely result in higher auto sales over the next several months,” he said. Taylor added that May’s sales results will indicate where the auto industry is headed for the rest of the year as the inventory mix of new cars and light trucks is fully restocked at dealerships.
Source: NADA Newsroom

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Ally Boosts Dealer Credit Lines

Auto finance company Ally Financial Inc. said it is increasing wholesale credit lines for dealers to take advantage of the U.S. auto market momentum, expanding limits for more than 40 percent of its U.S. dealer clients in the first quarter. “The flexibility in our credit line administration not only supports dealers, but also aligns with accelerated manufacturer production levels,” Ally Financial President Bill Muir said in a statement.
Source: Automotive News

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Automakers' U.S. April Incentive Spend Rose 4.7%, Autodata Says

Automakers in the U.S. increased spending on incentives in April by 4.7 percent to an average of $2,428 per vehicle, according to Autodata Corp. Nissan Motor Co. boosted spending on discounts and promotions by 19 percent to $2,375 per vehicle, Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based Autodata said in an e-mailed statement. Chrysler Group LLC ... raised incentives by 17 percent to an average of $3,283. Honda Motor Co.’s spending rose 15 percent to $2,486 on average. Toyota Motor Corp.’s discounts and promotions fell 11 percent to $1,688. Incentives increased 3.1 percent for General Motors Co. and 0.9 percent for Ford Motor Co.
Source: Bloomberg

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April Sales of Electric Cars Fall Despite High Gas Prices

Electric vehicles had a mostly tough month in April despite near-record high gas prices. About 3,500 electric vehicles were sold in April in the U.S., down from about 4,000 sold in March, the best-ever month for electric car sales.
Source: The Detroit News

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Ford Starting Third Shift at Cleveland Plant to Keep Up with EcoBoost Engine Demand

Ford Motor Co. is adding a third shift at its Cleveland Engine Plant to meet the growing demand for its fuel-saving EcoBoost engines. "Our engine plant in Cleveland is the first and only facility in North America to produce EcoBoost engines, and we are tripling production capacity to meet customers' growing needs for fuel-efficient engines," said Ford Americas President Mark Fields during a celebration with employees at the plant Tuesday. Introduced in 2009, EcoBoost engines combine fuel-injection and turbocharging to create more power from a smaller motor.
Source: The Detroit News

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How Chinese Drivers Will Influence Your Next Car

At first glance, it might look like a conventional BMW 3-Series sedan, but a closer inspection reveals it’s been stretched 11 centimeters -- about 4 inches for metrically challenged Americans -- almost all of that going to rear-seat occupants. For now, the BMW 335Li, like the long-wheelbase Infiniti M35hL and other “stretch” models, are targeted specifically for China, where a sizable number of car buyers prefer to be chauffeured, riding in the back seat.  But going forward, many manufacturers say, the products they are now designing for China will have broader applications in other markets.
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
"Modest economic growth and declining gasoline prices, low interest rates, more leasing options and aging vehicles that need to be replaced will likely result in higher auto sales over the next several months."

   
-- NADA Chief Economist Paul Taylor, NADA Newsroom, May 1

 

 

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