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Inside this issue
Service Advisors Overtime Exemption Extended Through March
Big 3, Partners on Path to $4 Billion Europe Loss
Toyota Forecasts 1.3 Million Sept. Industry Sales
Fiat-VW Dispute Highlights Tensions on 17-Year-Low Sales
Scion Veers to Older Target With New Campaign
Nissan to Buy Back 2 Leafs From Disgruntled Owners
Highlights From the 2012 Paris Auto Show
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Service Advisors Overtime Exemption Extended Through March

Congressional legislation, signed into law today, to prevent a government shutdown includes an extension of a federal overtime exemption for service advisors through March. Since the late 1970s, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has held that the frontline employee-salespersons in the service department remain exempt from federal time-and-a-half pay requirements. In 2011, DOL attempted to reverse this policy. Congress intervened and temporarily stopped the Department from enforcing the change. The Congressional ban was included in a funding measure that was set to expire at the end of September. Under the new continuing resolution that extends government spending through March 2013, DOL is prevented from enacting the new policy for service salespeople. “Reversing 40 years of precedence of overtime requirements for service advisors could force dealers to make potentially costly compensation and staffing changes,” said NADA Chairman Bill Underriner. “Altering overtime rules after 40 years with little to no justification hinders a dealer’s ability to create new jobs." Even with DOL's restrictions in place, NADA has assisted several dealers involved in wage and hour audits by letting overly-aggressive federal inspectors know of the prohibition. Underriner also recognized Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., who chairs the House subcommittee that funds the DOL. “Under Chairman Rehberg’s leadership, Congress extended the overtime exemption for service advisors until March 27, 2013. America's franchised auto dealers applaud his efforts,” Underriner added.
Source: NADA Legislative Affairs

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Big 3, Partners on Path to $4 Billion Europe Loss

Detroit's leading automakers are reaping near-record profits after cutting back their U.S. operations during the collapse in 2008-09 of the American auto market. But now their recovery is threatened by a meltdown spreading across Europe that has plunged the regional operations of General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group's partner Fiat SpA into the red.
Source: The Detroit News

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Toyota Forecasts 1.3 Million Sept. Industry Sales

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. is predicting industry sales in September will hit 1.3 million units, reflecting an annualized sales rate of 14.3 million vehicles.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: Jim Lentz, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., is one of the keynote speakers at the 2012 NADA/J.D. Power Western Automotive Conference in Los Angeles on Nov. 27. Click here for additional information or to register.

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Fiat-VW Dispute Highlights Tensions on 17-Year-Low Sales

Fiat SpA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne and Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn resolved a dispute that threatened to paralyze Europe's main car lobby group as the region's market sinks to a 17-year low. The executives emerged from a meeting of the ACEA industry organization at the Paris Motor Show today shaking hands and saying Marchionne will remain its head, following threats by both Fiat and VW in recent months to quit the trade group.
Source: Bloomberg

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Scion Veers to Older Target With New Campaign

After marketing itself to just about the youngest driving demographic possible, Toyota's Scion brand [Thursday] announced a new campaign -- a mea culpa of sorts that its advertising might have actually aimed too young in the past -- just as the brand is now starting to show signs of life after years of declining sales.
Source: Advertising Age

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Nissan to Buy Back 2 Leafs From Disgruntled Owners

Nissan Motor Co. has agreed to buy back two of the seven Leaf electric cars whose owners in Arizona have publicly raised concerns about aging batteries. The gesture could help mollify a small group of Leaf owners and green-car enthusiasts who have been raising questions about whether the electric car's battery is too quickly losing its ability to hold an adequate charge. In response, Nissan earlier this week said it would enlist an independent, global panel to help it communicate with worried Leaf owners that there is nothing wrong with their batteries.
Source: Automotive News

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Highlights From the 2012 Paris Auto Show

Despite the European auto sector acting like a complete Debbie Downer toward the world market's fortunes, with demand spiraling downward and plant closures and massive job cuts looming, automakers still found bits of candy to show off to the masses at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. Jaguar revealed a long-awaited roadster, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz showed off several shooting brakes (don't be that gauche American ignoramus who calls them station wagons), Land Rover showed us the fourth Range Rover, and BMW upset its faithful with a front-wheel drive hybrid. The horror.
Source: The Los Angeles Times

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Quotable
"Altering overtime rules after 40 years with little to no justification hinders a dealer’s ability to create new jobs and could force dealers to make potentially costly compensation and staffing changes." 

   
-- Bill Underriner, NADA chairman, commenting on the recent extension of the Service Advisors Overtime Exemption, NADA Legislative Affairs, Sept. 28


 


 

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