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Inside this issue
Car Quality at Highest Level Ever, J.D. Power Survey Shows
Study: Car Repair Costs Dip Nationwide
NADA Urges Dealers to Take Brief, Newly Automated Survey on Energy Usage
Audi Taps Keogh to Head U.S. Operations
Hyundai Pacing 700,000-Unit Sales Year; Third Shift to Bring Relief
Fuel-Cell Frenzy Looks to Convert Obama Favoring Plug-Ins
Tesla Ships First $100,000 Model S Amid Uncertain Demand
Opinion: The Latest on the Airless Tire-and-Wheel Combo
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Car Quality at Highest Level Ever, J.D. Power Survey Shows

The quality of the cars rolling out of U.S. dealer showrooms has reached the highest level ever, according to a new study by J.D. Power and Associates. “This is, without doubt, the best level of quality we’ve ever seen,” said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. But while traditional problems like squeaks, rattles and electrical glitches have become increasingly uncommon, owners are registering a growing number of complaints about their high-tech audio, entertainment and navigation systems. Younger buyers -- those under 35 -- are about twice as likely as older buyers to complain about tech issues.
Source: MSNBC

Related Stories

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Study: Car Repair Costs Dip Nationwide

Car repair costs have dropped nationwide, and Michigan is the sixth least expensive state for automotive repairs, according to the consumer website CarMD. The drop in repair costs comes even as the cost of parts rises 1.4 percent. Service departments and repair shops slashed their labor costs by 17 percent to compete in a tight market. The cutbacks in labor costs are part of a long-term trend aimed at reducing technician hours and competing more efficiently, said Paul Taylor, chief economist at the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Source: The Detroit News

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NADA Urges Dealers to Take Brief, Newly Automated Survey on Energy Usage

Participating dealers are eligible to receive ENERGY STAR Certification by the EPA.

NADA has launched a fully automated online survey for members to input their dealership's energy usage. The data will be used to determine dealer eligibility for ENERGY STAR certification, which studies show can be an important factor for consumers in the car shopping process. The survey can now be completed by NADA member dealerships in just one step by entering energy usage data and other key dealership information. All other dealership data is already loaded. The anonymous information will then be analyzed by the EPA to develop an ENERGY STAR energy performance scale for dealerships. NADA members were emailed a unique user name and password to access the newly automated energy usage survey at www.CarbonIndex.com. All surveys must be completed by July 6 to be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. Click here for the full article.
Source: NADA Newsroom

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Audi Taps Keogh to Head U.S. Operations

Scott Keogh, chief marketing officer of Audi of America, has been appointed president of Audi's U.S. operations, Volkswagen Group of America announced Wednesday. Keogh replaces Johan De Nysschen, who left the VW group's Audi unit recently to head Nissan Motor Co.'s premium Infiniti brand. As Audi's marketing chief in the U.S. for six years, Keogh contributed to a surge in Audi of America sales to 117,561 vehicles in 2011, from 101,629 the year before.
Source: The Detroit News

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Hyundai Pacing 700,000-Unit Sales Year; Third Shift to Bring Relief

Hyundai expects to hit its U.S. sales target of 700,000 units this year, despite a possible cooling of the industry, a top U.S. executive says.
Source: WardsAuto

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Fuel-Cell Frenzy Looks to Convert Obama Favoring Plug-Ins

Remarks by two aides to President Barack Obama yesterday calling fuel cells part of the solution for improving automobile efficiency gave boosters some optimism the U.S. will help create a market for the technology. Hydrogen fuel cells, encouraged by President George W. Bush, lost favor to plug-in electric vehicles after Obama took office in 2009. Energy Secretary Steven Chu questioned the merits of hydrogen-powered cars and cut funding for fuel-cell research, as Obama set a goal of having 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.
Source: Bloomberg

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Tesla Ships First $100,000 Model S Amid Uncertain Demand

Tesla Motors Inc. survived a cash crisis in 2008 and tomorrow delivers its first electric car designed and built solely in-house. Co-founder Elon Musk will soon learn if there’s enough Model S demand for Tesla to profit. The first 10 “Signature” performance versions are to be picked up by their owners at Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory. They’re priced at $95,400 to $105,400 and able to go 265 miles (426 kilometers) per charge. More than 10,000 people have made $5,000 deposits to reserve one, Musk said on June 6.
Source: Bloomberg

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Opinion: The Latest on the Airless Tire-and-Wheel Combo
By Don Sherman

When Robert Thomson invented the pneumatic tire a century and a half ago, a rubber doughnut inflated with air was only one of several ideas the Scotsman proposed for softening the ride and reducing the power required to propel the carriages of his day. Thomson also suggested filling what he called his “aerial wheel” with sponges, springs, and/or horsehair to avoid flats caused by “concussion between the wheel and the roadway.”
Source: Car and Driver

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Quotable
"This is, without doubt, the best level of quality we've ever seen."

   
-- Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power, referring to its new study, which indicates vehicle quality has reached the highest level ever, msnbc.com, June 20




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