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Inside this issue
GM Reps to Visit Small Dealers
Obama to Tell WTO that China Illegally Subsidizes Auto Exports
Bailed Out By Obama, But Rooting for Romney
U.S. Balks at GM Plan
The Wild West of Online
Canada Auto Workers Chief Renews Threat Strike
Natural Gas Gets Nod From Auto Analysts as Vehicle Fuel of Future
Dealer-Only Auto Auction Raises Thousands for Local Salvation Army
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
GM Reps to Visit Small Dealers

Change aims to improve retailers' customer service

About 1,200 of General Motors' smallest, most isolated dealerships will see factory reps come through the door next year for the first time in a quarter century. The move back to face-to-face contact with GM reps is aimed at helping smaller dealers improve their business and customer service, said Alan Batey, GM's U.S. vice president of sales and service. It also comes amid pressure from the National Automobile Dealers Association for GM to change its controversial facilities-enhancement program, which NADA has argued is unfair to small dealers. GM has said it can't grant blanket exceptions to the facilities rules based on dealership size, says Mike Martin, a Chevrolet dealer in Manassas, Va., and NADA's line representative for GM. But he believes that GM will be more willing to consider "logical exceptions," and that the one-on-one contact is a "huge step" to help that process.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's Note: Click here for a recent interview with GM's Alan Batey, who announces GM's intent to communicate better with all of its dealers.

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Obama to Tell WTO that China Illegally Subsidizes Auto Exports

The Obama administration is set to launch a new enforcement action with the World Trade Organization against China on Monday, alleging that the Asian economic giant is putting U.S. manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage by illegally subsidizing exports of autos and auto parts.
Source: The Los Angeles Times

Related Story:

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Bailed Out By Obama, But Rooting for Romney

If there's anywhere President Obama should expect to get a boost from the success of the government's rescue of General Motors, it's Wentzville, Mo., and Lordstown, Ohio. Ohio and Missouri are traditionally important swing states. But in St. Charles County, where Wentzville is, it's not Mr. Obama but his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, who is predicted to win by a large margin. In heavily Democratic Lordstown, Mr. Obama is expected to prevail, but Mr. Romney is likely to carry two neighboring counties that also benefit from G.M.'s success.
Source: The New York Times

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U.S. Balks at GM Plan

Government is reluctant to sell auto stake at a huge loss

The Treasury Department is resisting a push by General Motors Co. to sell the government's entire stake in the auto maker—the latest source of tension between two unlikely partners thrust together at the depths of the financial crisis. U.S. taxpayers kept the nation's largest auto maker by sales afloat with a $50 billion bailout in 2009 and now own 26.5% of the Detroit company. But GM executives have grown increasingly frustrated with that ownership, and the stigma of being known as "Government Motors."
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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The Wild West of Online

Old marketing regs keep dealers at risk

States are struggling with rules for selling and advertising cars online. As one dealer puts it, retail auto marketing online is still "the Wild West." State regulators are meeting this week and will discuss scraping and other online marketing issues such as fees paid to lead generators, cross-border shipments and content of advertising. The discussion has prompted the National Association of Motor Vehicle Boards and Commissions to include a panel on the impact of Internet marketing at its meeting this week in Alexandria, Va. Greg Kirkpatrick, president of the association, says dealers "are just getting inundated with vendors offering the latest sales boost via the Internet." But many industry players argue that Internet commerce is not significantly different from brick-and-mortar commerce. James Moors, director of franchising and state law at the National Automobile Dealers Association, agrees. Digital commerce itself may be new, he says, but practices such as bird-dogging and advertising invoice price -- banned in many states -- have the same effects as in the past.
Source: Automotive News

Related Stories:

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Canada Auto Workers Chief Renews Threat Strike

Despite making progress with the Ford Motor Company of Canada during contract talks over the weekend, Ken Lewenza, the president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, renewed his threat on Sunday to strike all three Detroit automakers. Mr. Lewenza told a news conference that the union would now concentrate its efforts on negotiating a deal with Ford, which it hopes to present to the Canadian branches of General Motors and Chrysler before the strike deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Monday.
Source: The New York Times

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Natural Gas Gets Nod From Auto Analysts as Vehicle Fuel of Future

Natural gas got a strong vote of confidence as a future vehicle fuel at the Society of Automotive Analysts Strategic Planning Summit in Southfield on Friday. New methods of extracting the gas are one of the biggest changes affecting the auto industry in years, General Motors chief economist Mustafa Mohatarem said. "The U. S. now has a 100-year supply of natural gas," he said. "I'd make a bet it's the next big transportation fuel. The price is so much lower than gasoline -- people will find a way to use it."
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Dealer-Only Auto Auction Raises Thousands for Local Salvation Army

The Carlisle branch of the Salvation Army benefited greatly on Thursday as part of a dealer-only charity car auction. The event, hosted by the Harrisburg Auto Auction in nearby Mechanicsburg, saw more than two dozen vehicles designated as "charity cars" by local dealers. In turn, the cars were sold with 100% of the sales and onsite donations going directly to the local Carlisle Salvation Army branch.
Source: CBS21 News (Harrisburg, Pa.)

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More Articles

 

 

 
Quotable
"... it will provide more decision-making power at the regional level, so those calls can be made right then, one-on-one."
 
   
-- Mike Martin, a Chevrolet dealer in Manassas, Va. and NADA's line representative for GM, referring to the automaker's plan for district managers to begin visiting small dealerships in 2013, Automotive News, Sept. 17

"I'd make a bet [natural gas is] the next big transportation fuel."

   -- Mustafa Mohatarem, GM's chief economist, commenting on the U.S. supply of natural gas, which is priced much lower than gasoline, Detroit Free Press, Sept. 16


 


 

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