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Inside this issue
Auto Sales Drive Retail Rebound, Economists Say
GM Seen Step Away from Giving Up on Opel for Good
Trial to Challenge Legality of GM Facilities Program
Jaguar Land Rover to Cut Dealer Count
Fiat Seeks to Fuel Rise in U.S. Sales
Hyundai U.S. Chief Signals Investment in Capacity, Trucks
8.9% Sales Rise No 'Cause for Euphoria,' VW Boss Says
Ford Recalls New Escape Crossover Over Braking Issue
What Can Luxury-Car Buyers Expect to Pay?
Hyundai Does Its Part to Thwart Zombie Invasion
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top 10 Stories
Auto Sales Drive Retail Rebound, Economists Say

Sales at U.S. retailers probably rose in June for the first time in three months, reflecting a pickup in demand for automobiles that outshined spending on other goods, economists said before a report this week. A bright spot, auto purchases have held up as Americans replace aging vehicles.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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GM Seen Step Away from Giving Up on Opel for Good

Just hours after General Motors abruptly fired Karl-Friedrich Stracke as chief executive of Opel last week, industry observers were already beginning to ask whether it was time to start writing the epitaph.
Source: Reuters

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Trial to Challenge Legality of GM Facilities Program

Billionaire megadealer Norman Braman's lawsuit charging General Motors with illegal two-tier pricing is shaping up to go to trial in October 2013. The suit, which has captured the attention of dealers nationwide, could be a test case on the legality of manufacturer facility programs that reward participating dealerships with volume-based incentives. Braman says that GM's Essential Brand Elements program leads to two-tier pricing in violation of the federal Robinson-Patman Act.
Source: Automotive News

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Jaguar Land Rover to Cut Dealer Count

Company aims to eliminate many stand-alone stores

Jaguar Land Rover wants to reduce its U.S. dealership count by about 20 percent within three years by consolidating the two brands into single locations. "We want to cut the number of rooftops to about 200," said Andy Goss, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America. "At 200, the majority of dealerships would be Jaguar Land Rover."
Source: Automotive News

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Fiat Seeks to Fuel Rise in U.S. Sales

As automobile sales in its home market continue to decline, Fiat SpA is hoping that increasing demand for its products in the United States will help keep its factories humming. Last month, car sales in Italy plummeted more than 24 percent, and Fiat's sales were down by more than 23 percent. The rest of Europe is struggling, too. Sergio Marchionne, chairman and CEO of Fiat and Auburn Hills-based Chrysler Group LLC, says the current situation is unsustainable.
Source: The Detroit News

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Hyundai U.S. Chief Signals Investment in Capacity, Trucks

Hyundai Motor Co., headed for its first annual decline in U.S. market share since 1998, plans to address production constraints and invest in trucks and crossovers, the automaker’s sales chief for the country said. The Hyundai brand passed Ford Motor Co. namesake brand in car sales to retail buyers during the first six months of the year, John Krafcik, chief executive officer of the South Korean company’s U.S. sales unit, told reporters [July 12] at an event in Brooklyn, Michigan. The company just started production of the new 2013 Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle.
Source: Bloomberg

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8.9% Sales Rise No 'Cause for Euphoria,' VW Boss Says

Germany's Volkswagen AG reported an 8.9 percent rise in sales Friday for the first half of 2012 to 4.45 million vehicles, including an 11 percent gain in June, but sounded a note of caution amid deteriorating economic conditions in Europe. The first-half sales results, while good, are "by no means cause for euphoria," said VW sales chief Christian Klingler. "The economic situation, particularly in western Europe, remains tense and difficult."
Source: The Detroit News

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Ford Recalls New Escape Crossover Over Braking Issue

Ford Motor Co is recalling some of its recently launched 2013 Escape compact sport-utility vehicles because a carpeting flaw may cause drivers to apply the brakes improperly, increasing stopping distances and the risk of crashes.
Source: Reuters

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What Can Luxury-Car Buyers Expect to Pay?

Shoppers interested in a used luxury car likely will experience price increases for most brands since the used luxury-car supply is expected to drop by 13 percent for this year compared to 2011, according to ... the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Source: Bankrate.com

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Hyundai Does Its Part to Thwart Zombie Invasion

Korean automaker Hyundai unveiled its latest model – the unlikely Elantra Coupe Zombie Survival Machine – at an unlikely venue Tuesday night, Comic-Con International 2012 in San Diego. Built to withstand the rigors of the coming zombie apocalypse, it features such essential undead-eliminating armaments as a front-end spiked zombie plow, armored window coverings, a roof hatch that enables passengers to fend off attacking walkers, a trunk laden with electric and pneumatic weaponry, front and rear-mounted floodlights and spiked all-terrain/rally type tires.
Source: Forbes.com

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Quotable
"This will be the last such attempt under Akerson and since GM couldn't sell Opel last time, they will just wind it down if they can't fix it."   

    --  Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, a professor at the Centre Automotive Research in Duisburg, Germany, referring to GM's troubled European unit, Opel, Reuters, July 16




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