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Inside this issue
Auto Dealers Voice Frustration Over Manufacturers' Costly 'Image' Programs
GM Ousts Global Marketing Chief Over Soccer Deal
Car Dealers Fear Obama Fuel Standards Will Make New Vehicles Unaffordable
Deeper in the Doo-Doo
Strong Auto Financing Supports Sales Recovery
Hyundai Recalling 220,000 Vehicles Over Airbag Issues
'Thunderblender?' Cars Get Confusing Names Instead
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Auto Dealers Voice Frustration Over Manufacturers' Costly 'Image' Programs

Scott Holloway says his Buick Pontiac GMC Cadillac dealership in Portsmouth is a "friggin' mess," since it's in the middle of two facility upgrades whose cost will probably top $1 million. And he has General Motors to thank for it. Gratitude, however, is not exactly dripping from the car dealer's lips. First, he said, it is "kind of nuts" that he has been told to put $4,000 chairs in his showroom. Then there is the "asinine and ridiculous" requirement to rip up his floor to match the exact color and texture that GM says is part of its "image" program.

Most auto dealers don't balk at the concept of expanded facilities and some degree of standardization, particularly when it comes to improving the customer experience, but they do question whether requirements are overly strict and whether they could be done any cheaper. "You dump two million bucks in your facility, it doesn't mean you are going to sell more cars," said Roger Groux, immediate past chairman of the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association and president of Honda Barn in Stratham. "The problem is big, especially among smaller dealers," said Bill Underriner, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association and a car dealer in Billngs, Mont. "Every time you turn around, someone is talking to me about facilities and how the manufacturers are dictating what they have to do."
Source: New Hampshire Business Review

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GM Ousts Global Marketing Chief Over Soccer Deal

General Motors Co. ousted its global marketing chief Joel Ewanick a little more than two years after he joined the company to lead an overhaul of its marketing strategy. A source with knowledge of the matter said Ewanick failed to properly report financial details about a recent sponsorship deal between GM's mass-market Chevrolet brand and the world's most popular soccer club, Manchester United.
Source: Reuters

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Car Dealers Fear Obama Fuel Standards Will Make New Vehicles Unaffordable

The White House is expected to OK federal standards in the next few weeks that will nearly double vehicle gas mileage for vehicles by 2025, as automotive dealers warn the changes could slam the recovering retail car industry because they will come with sticker prices that will keep buyers off their lots. The recommendations call for “fleet wide” gas mileage of 54.4 miles a gallon by 2015 -- essentially the average gas mileage for cars, trucks, vans and all other vehicles in a model year. “Dealers support fuel economy increases,” Bailey Wood, a National Automobile Dealers Association spokesman told FoxNews.com Saturday. “But if dealers cannot put vehicles on the road, we cannot reduce greenhouse gases or our dependence of foreign oil.”
Source: FoxNews.com

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Deeper in the Doo-Doo

Only big cuts will stop the weakest carmakers from sinking in the mire

Fiat's boss, Sergio Marchionne, has a way with words. Commenting on the dismal state of Europe’s car market earlier this month, he admitted: “We’re standing in doo-doo. Whether you’re in an inch of it or three inches doesn’t matter. The stench is still overwhelming.” As the carmakers’ half-year figures start to come out, it is clear that some are in it up to their necks, whereas others are smelling of roses.
Source: The Economist

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Strong Auto Financing Supports Sales Recovery

Auto-credit availability will remain strong and support a continued recovery of vehicle sales, a financial analyst says.Much of that greater loan availability is in the subprime market, recovering from a bad case of frostbite suffered during the credit freeze of 2008 and 2009.
Source: WardsAuto

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Hyundai Recalling 220,000 Vehicles Over Airbag Issues

Hyundai Motor Co. said Saturday it is issuing two new recalls totaling 220,000 vehicles covering airbag issues. The Korean automaker said it is recalling 199,118 2007-09 Santa Fe SUVs to ensure that airbags deploy in a crash when a small individual is sitting in the passenger seat.
Source: The Detroit News

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'Thunderblender?' Cars Get Confusing Names Instead

Mark Phelan has a pet peeve, and Drive On couldn't agree more with him. The Detroit Free Press columnist, whose work is regularily seen here, objects to the alphanumeric mash-up that has become the mainstay of today's car names.
Source: USA Today

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Quotable
"We’re standing in doo-doo."

   
-- Sergio Marchionne, Fiat CEO, commenting on the dismal state of Europe's car market, The Economist, July 28



 




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