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Inside this issue
Fewer Auto Closings Reduce US Unemployment Claims
GM, Ford Stocks Fall Despite High Sales
GM, Peugeot Take Aim at Europe Woes
Older-Model Wholesale Price Growth Accelerates
Volvo Testing Three New Safety Features
Audi's Race to Dominate Luxury Market Hits Speed Bump
Auto Dealers of Eastern Ohio Donate to Autism Center
BMW i8 Hybrid Gets Concept Car Award
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Fewer Auto Closings Reduce US Unemployment Claims

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits plunged last week. A big reason is that automakers have skipped some of their usual summer shutdowns to keep up with demand, causing fewer temporary auto layoffs. Economists expect the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid to go back up in coming weeks. The auto industry's recovery has helped support the struggling U.S. economy. U.S. auto sales in the first half of the year jumped 15 percent over the same period a year ago.
Source: Associated Press

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GM, Ford Stocks Fall Despite High Sales

On Thursday, GM's stock price dropped to its lowest level of the year — $19.33 per share — while Ford Motor Co.'s shares fell to their lowest point — $9.13 — since December 2009. Still, Ford on Thursday announced a 5-cent dividend for the third quarter, payable Sept. 4 to shareholders of record Aug. 3. Analysts said the automakers' stock prices are more of a reflection of the global economy than the companies' own financial performance. Automakers also are dealing with higher raw material costs and increased competition.
Source: The Detroit News

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GM, Peugeot Take Aim at Europe Woes

General Motors Co. and France's PSA Peugeot-Citroën SA took dramatic steps aimed at overhauling their ailing European operations that could spark a broader restructuring of the Continent's beleaguered auto industry. Peugeot said Thursday it will eliminate 8,000 jobs, or 8% of its French workforce.... Separately, GM removed the head of its European operations, Karl-Friedrich Stracke, after just seven months on the job and replaced him with Vice Chairman Steve Girsky amid growing frustration with the pace of the turnaround at its European business, which includes the German Opel/Vauxhall unit.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Older-Model Wholesale Price Growth Accelerates

With the first half of 2012 in the books, sales are up and prices are down. Used-vehicle pricing continues to drop as the new-vehicle sales SAAR improved to 14.1 in June, according to the July edition of the Guidelines report from NADA Used Car Guide. But there is one section of the market that is bucking this trend. For older models six to seven years old, auction prices in June were 12 percent higher than last year, NADA officials reported.
Source: Auto Remarketing

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Volvo Testing Three New Safety Features

Volvo Car Corp. is touting three new technologies that it says will help make the Volvos of the future a good deal safer: autonomous driving, “Intersection Support” and animal detection. Volvo, in a statement released earlier this week, said it's tailoring technologies to the way people drive, by which it means poorly.
Source: Automotive News

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Audi's Race to Dominate Luxury Market Hits Speed Bump

The German automaker recently gave a handful of American journalists the chance to test its latest products, including the S5 coupe and smaller S4 sedan and the new all-road crossover, vehicles critical to Audi’s ambitious growth plans. But, as solidly planted as the two sporty offerings might be, there are some clear bumps in the road ahead for Audi. In an unexpected announcement, Audi AG CEO Rupert Stadler said this week that the automaker is pushing back by a full five years its goal of becoming the world’s largest premium auto manufacturer.
Source: msnbc.com

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Auto Dealers of Eastern Ohio Donate to Autism Center

The Rich Center for Autism in Youngstown received a generous donation on [July 9]. The Automobile Dealers Association of Eastern Ohio presented its annual check to the center in the amount of $58,673. The Rich Center depends on donations from the community to fund its operations. Its largest donor each year continues to be the auto dealers. "When you have one in 88 children diagnosed with autism, it's incredible the amount of time and effort and talent it takes to provide hope for families and these kids," said Georgia Backus of the Rich Center. "Without the auto dealers, I don't know what we would do." The check brought the total amount donated by the auto dealers to $524,000.
Source: WYTV 33 (ABC affiliate, Youngstown, Ohio)

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BMW i8 Hybrid Gets Concept Car Award

Turns out you don't have to actually sell or manufacture cars to get a car-of-the-year award. Just have the niftiest "maybe-someday" vehicle on the stands at the Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto or New York auto shows. Thus, the striking, two-seat BMW i8, a show car only, gets this year's nod.
Source: USA Today

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Quotable
"The road is getting bumpier."   

    -- Audi AG CEO Rupert Stadler, referring to the automaker's plan to push back by five years its goal of becoming the world’s largest premium automaker because it needs to increase manufacturing capacity, improve brand awareness in the U.S. and deal with the unexpected slowdown in China, msnbc.com, July 12




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