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Inside this issue
Discussion about Dealership Upgrades Revisited during Recent J.P. Morgan Event
Toyota's Jim Lentz to Address NADA/J.D. Power Western Automotive Conference in Los Angeles
Miles Per Gallon Standard Could Affect U.S. Auto Industry Competitiveness
TransUnion: Late Auto-Loan Payments Fall in 2Q
Auto Buyers Are More Satisfied with Major Automakers, List Says
VW Adds $27 Million Center to Aid Expansion in U.S.
Ford Brand Looks to Move Upscale
Fisker Recalls Electric Car After Fire
Ford GT40 Sells for a Record $11 Million at Pebble Beach
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Discussion about Dealership Upgrades Revisited during Recent J.P. Morgan Event

An investment analyst recently asked Toyota’s Bob Carter about a subject studied intently by the National Automobile Dealers Association — automakers asking franchised dealers to make mandated changes to their showrooms and more. The questioner wanted to know if $1 billion worth of improvements were going to bring a strong return on investment for both the OEM and dealerships. Carter responded by beginning with how the topic was an area of personal pride for him. “We have a philosophical difference between our relationship with dealers that I hear all the time ... but we truly operate this company as a partnership with our dealers,” the group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division continued during the recent J.P. Morgan Automotive Conference.
Source: Auto Remarketing

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Toyota's Jim Lentz to Address NADA/J.D. Power Western Automotive Conference in Los Angeles

Jim Lentz, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will provide keynote remarks at the first-ever Western Automotive Conference in Los Angeles in November. The half-day conference, presented by the National Automobile Dealers Association and J.D. Power and Associates, will be held at the Biltmore Hotel on Nov. 27. Press days at the Los Angeles Auto Show run Nov. 28-29. The conference begins with a luncheon and remarks by Lentz, who will provide his perspective on the U.S. auto industry and how changing consumer behavior will impact the types of vehicles produced and sold. He will also discuss how emerging technologies will influence vehicle design. Early-bird registration, which includes discounted rates, ends Oct. 26. Click here for more information or to register.
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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Miles Per Gallon Standard Could Affect U.S. Auto Industry Competitiveness

Last year the Obama administration, Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration worked with automakers to arrive at an agreement to bring the automotive fleet standard to 54.5 mpg by 2025. [Mark] Cooper [director of research at the Consumer Federation of America] said he believed the proposed mpg standard will allow the U.S. auto industry to be globally competitive. Dr. Tim Nash at Northwood University disagrees. He predicts this increase in fuel efficiency will drive up the cost to produce vehicles and make the United States less competitive globally. "If the price of a vehicle goes up by $3,000 in current conditions, you could take as many as six million people out of the market as being eligible for automotive financing," he said. Previous upgrades in fuel efficiency with heavy-duty trucks ended up costing three times more than originally anticipated from 2004 to 2010.

Nash also questioned [a poll CFA conducted showing that] consumers who plan to purchase a new vehicle in five or more years want one that will get at least 35.5 mpg. "Consumers don't want what these polls say they say," he said. "If you look at my family, in many cases for us a larger vehicle that is less fuel efficient is actually more fuel efficient because in many cases we can afford to get six people from point A or point B." Theory and practice are two different things, Nash said. But there is still time to reassess the situation, Nash said, noting that adjustments can be made if automakers do not actually reach the new mpg standards.
Source: Midland Daily News (Midland, Mich.)

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TransUnion: Late Auto-Loan Payments Fall in 2Q

More Americans are making their car payments on time, a trend that has sent the rate of overdue auto loans to the lowest level on records dating back more than a decade. The rate of U.S. auto loan payments at least 60 days overdue fell in the second quarter to 0.33 percent. That's down about 25 percent from the same period last year and 8 percent from the first three months of this year, credit reporting agency TransUnion said Tuesday.
Source: The Associated Press

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Auto Buyers Are More Satisfied with Major Automakers, List Says

Customer satisfaction with major automakers has returned to its highest point in the nearly 20 years of the widely tracked American Customer Satisfaction Index. The industry achieved an overall ranking of 84 out of 100, tying 2009 for its best-ever mark.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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VW Adds $27 Million Center to Aid Expansion in U.S.

Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest carmaker, opened a $27 million technical center in California [Monday] to expand its engineering capabilities in the region as part of a push to accelerate U.S. sales. The 64,000-square-foot (5,946-square-meter) Test Center California in Oxnard, 62 miles (100 kilometers) north of Los Angeles, initially will be staffed by 50 engineers and technicians, VW said in a statement.
Source: Bloomberg

Related Story

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Ford Brand Looks to Move Upscale

The 2013 model year is crucial for the brand. Two of Ford's three biggest sellers, the Escape crossover and Fusion mid-sized sedan, have been redesigned dramatically. Along with the F-series pickup, these vehicles are the heart of the Ford lineup. With these two redesigns, the Ford brand is making a conscious move upscale by offering customers refinement, design, technology and features usually found in luxury brands
Source: Automotive News

Related Story

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Fisker Recalls Electric Car After Fire

Fisker Automotive Inc. said it will recall its Karma luxury plug-in hybrid cars to replace cooling fans that could have a defect linked to a fire earlier this month. This is the second time Fisker has recalled its Karma models, which start at about $100,000, to fix a defect linked to fire risks.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Ford GT40 Sells for a Record $11 Million at Pebble Beach

An orange-on-powder blue 1968 Ford GT40, used by Steve McQueen as a camera car in the production of the 1971 film “Le Mans,” sold for an unprecedented $11 million at the collector-car sale conducted by RM Auctions here on Aug. 17.
Source: The New York Times

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Quotable
"What drives us is the more successful our dealers are, the more successful we are. We do not and will not tolerate an adversarial relationship with our dealers. It's something that I believe very strongly in, and it’s felt by others in the company."

   
-- Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of Toyota, said during a recent J.P. Morgan Automotive Conference, Auto Remarketing, August 20


 




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