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Inside this issue
Spark in Sales of Cars and Trucks Drives U.S. Economy
Ally's ResCap Unit Files Chapter 11
GM's Akerson: U.S. Political System Is 'Broken'
As VW Prepares for Growth, It Helps Dealers Recruit Techs
Car Designers Wrestle with Weight Reduction
Auto Industry Legend Carroll Shelby, Father of Cobra, Dies at 89
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Spark in Sales of Cars and Trucks Drives U.S. Economy

Car sales that are running at the fastest pace in four years are poised to reverberate through the world’s largest economy as a spillover into production, profits and jobs for Americans may be starting. Auto purchases have exceeded a 14 million annual rate in each month this year, the strongest performance since early 2008, according to Ward’s Automotive Group. Government data show motor-vehicle output contributed half of the first quarter’s 2.2 percent economic growth.
Source: Bloomberg

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Ally's ResCap Unit Files Chapter 11

Ally Financial Inc.'s troubled mortgage subsidiary filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy early Monday, potentially paving the way for Ally to sever itself from substantial litigation that has been a drag on its other operations and prevented it from repaying the remainder of its government bailout. In a surprise move, Ally, the former in-house financing arm for General Motors Co., also said it would pursue the sale of its international operations, including auto-finance businesses and insurance operations, to maximize its ability to get out from under government ownership.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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GM's Akerson: U.S. Political System Is 'Broken'

General Motors chairman and CEO Dan Akerson told graduates at Columbia University Sunday that the U.S. political system is broken - and noted that the decline in the automaker's stock value isn't unprecedented. Akerson told MBA graduates in New York that the government isn't working. "Some of the institutions that our society relies on are in serious disrepair, if not outright broken," Akerson said, according to a copy of his remarks released by GM. "The Great Recession exposed so much. Our economy was broken and teetered on failure. Our banking system ground to a halt. Our housing market collapsed. Millions of jobs evaporated. Things are improving but complete recovery is a long way off -- and that's in part because our political system is broken."
Source: The Detroit News

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As VW Prepares for Growth, It Helps Dealers Recruit Techs

Volkswagen is helping its dealers hire staff as part of a push to accommodate higher sales, open more stores and expand existing ones. With sales booming, the brand wants to grow, and that could mean adding more than 2,000 service technicians and 600 salespeople over the next few years, company officials say. Existing dealers also are adding stores, and VW says it expects to expand its network of about 600 dealerships by 10 to 15 percent, starting in 2015. To keep pace with this growth, many dealers are adding workers, especially in their service departments, said Will Trafton, a VW dealer in Rochester, N.Y., and chairman of the Volkswagen National Dealer Advisory Council.
Source: Automotive News

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Car Designers Wrestle with Weight Reduction

Michael Arbaugh is looking forward to the day when automotive designers get rid of CD players. Doing so would eliminate about 5 pounds and free up critical space on the center stack where automakers could offer other features, said Arbaugh, chief designer for Ford interiors. For designers like Arbaugh, choices such as eliminating CD players are part of the challenge created by tougher fuel economy standards. Those standards changed little from the late 1970s until 2010. Now by 2016, the U.S. fleet average for automakers must reach 34.1 m.p.g. for all vehicles, up from 27.5 m.p.g. for passenger cars in 2010 and 23.5 m.p.g. for light trucks.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Auto Industry Legend Carroll Shelby, Father of Cobra, Dies at 89

Carroll Shelby, the legendary auto racer and car designer who built the fabled Shelby Cobra sports car and injected testosterone into Ford’s Mustang and Chrysler’s Viper, has died. He was 89. Shelby’s company, Carroll Shelby International, said Friday that Shelby died a day earlier at a Dallas hospital.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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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
"Two political parties with vastly different views of the world -- reached for something better than that day's headlines, or that day's tactical advantage. They rose above petulant partisan politics, to serve the greater good."

   
-- General Motors chairman and CEO Dan Akerson, in a speech to Columbia University graduates, referring to the $49.5 billion U.S. bailout approved by two presidents, The Detroit News, May 13
 

 

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