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Inside this issue
GM Woos Dealers for Fleet-Sales Push
Dealers Call Tesla Factory Stores Illegal
Marchionne to Update Fiat-Chrysler Plan Due to Europe Woes
Japan Carmakers to Cut China Production By Half, Report Says
GM Names Robert Ferguson Cadillac Global Brand Chief
Honda Recalls 489,000 CR-V Crossovers For Fire Risk
Lincoln Gives Sneak Peeks at MKZ
Jewelry, Trinkets, Cars? Toyota Pitches 2013 Avalon on HSN
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
GM Woos Dealers for Fleet-Sales Push

Program offers cash rewards -- but there's a price

General Motors is overhauling its commercial dealer network in a bid to boost sales to business customers. GM wants dealerships that sell to small- and mid-sized businesses -- customers who buy one to 100 vehicles a year -- to offer perks such as extended service hours and better availability of loaners. In exchange, GM is offering commercial dealers advertising support, more floorplan money and the chance for more bonus cash based on sales volume, among other benefits.
Source: Automotive News

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Dealers Call Tesla Factory Stores Illegal

After opening several stores without much pushback, Elon Musk's ambition to replicate the Apple experience in Tesla factory stores is now facing potential roadblocks. Dealer associations in a handful of states, and state regulators in at least one case, say Tesla's stores violate state franchise laws that prohibit factory ownership of dealerships. The protesting dealer associations say Tesla's factory-owned stores present unfair competition for rival dealerships, are inconvenient for consumers needing repairs and, if left unchallenged, ultimately threaten the franchise system. NADA issued a statement saying that the franchised new-car dealer system is the best way to distribute vehicles. "Tesla may not yet recognize the value of the independent, franchised dealer system, but as its sales increase, NADA is confident it will re-examine its business model," Montana dealer and NADA Chairman Bill Underriner said in the statement. "Other companies such as Daewoo did. All companies should be complying with existing laws...."
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: In additional comments submitted to Automotive News, NADA stated that the franchised new-car dealer system is the best way to distribute vehicles because it provides significant benefits to consumers, such as a reliable network for sales and service, which is strictly regulated to ensure the vehicle transportation needs of car buyers are met. The franchised new-car dealer system also provides many economic benefits to communities across the country. Each year, auto sales and service generate billions of dollars in tax revenue for federal, state and city governments, which is used to support local schools, roads and bridges, as well as police and fire departments. A new-car dealership on average employs 53 people. Nationwide, new-car dealerships employ nearly 1 million people. New-car dealers contribute their time and money to countless charitable and civic causes in their communities. Over the years, other manufacturers have tried operating their own retail networks, but have concluded that the franchised new-car dealer system is the best method of serving the public for its vehicle transportation needs.

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Marchionne to Update Fiat-Chrysler Plan Due to Europe Woes

Sergio Marchionne, who heads Fiat and Chrysler Group, will revise two-year growth plans for both automakers later this month to reflect the slump in European auto sales. To assume that Fiat's outlook for Europe is going to be confirmed "is nonsense because the market won't be there," Marchionne said. "We will be updating our forecasts for '13 and '14 as a consequence."
Source: Automotive News

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Japan Carmakers to Cut China Production By Half, Report Says

Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., and Honda Motor Co. plan to slash production in China by roughly half, the Nikkei newspaper reported today, as a territorial dispute between Asia's two largest economies cuts sales of Japanese cars in the world's biggest auto market.
Source: Reuters

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GM Names Robert Ferguson Cadillac Global Brand Chief

General Motors Co., the largest U.S. automaker, said Robert Ferguson, currently vice president of public policy, will lead its Cadillac brand globally in a newly created position. Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson is pushing to make Cadillac a stronger competitor against German luxury brands, especially in the U.S. and China, with new products, including the ATS compact sedan. Ferguson, who joined GM in 2010, starts as vice president of global Cadillac on Jan. 1, GM said. Selim Bingol, GM’s vice president of global communications, will take on Ferguson’s duties in Washington.
Source: Bloomberg

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Honda Recalls 489,000 CR-V Crossovers For Fire Risk

Honda Motor Co. is recalling about 489,000 CR-V crossovers in the U.S., Europe and Africa, from the 2002 to 2006 model years because an electrical switch in the driver's side door could melt and cause a fire. It was the third major recall this week for the Japanese auto maker, which usually sits near the top in J.D. Power & Associates' annual rankings of vehicle quality.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Lincoln Gives Sneak Peeks at MKZ

Prelaunch test-drive events court 'cultural progressives'

As the launch of the redesigned 2013 MKZ approaches, Lincoln is taking the unusual step of letting select groups of customers test drive preproduction models. The test drives, which started Oct. 1 and run through November when the car arrives in showrooms, are part of Lincoln's plan to reinvent itself. The struggling brand aims to offer customers the kind of personalized luxury service they would expect in boutique luxury hotels.
Source: Automotive News

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Jewelry, Trinkets, Cars? Toyota Pitches 2013 Avalon on HSN

Could the Home Shopping Network become the preferred venue for rolling out new cars? Toyota Motor Corp. introduced its 2013 Avalon Hybrid sedan and other hybrid vehicles in its fleet on HSN during a number of appearances under the title “Discover Toyota.” Toyota said it is the first auto maker to appear on the network, which has been known for decades for giving people a way to buy a range of goods while sitting in front of the television.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Quotable
"The demand for electric vehicles won't be anywhere near 200,000 before the end of this decade. This is all the result of industry market projections that just weren't realistic."

   
-- Michael Holman, research director for Lux Research Inc. in Boston, Automotive News, Oct. 8

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NADA Chairman Bill Underriner will discuss the state of the retail-auto industry at the Automotive Press Association luncheon in Detroit on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Underriner will discuss opposition to stair-step incentive programs and the latest developments concerning factory-mandated dealership upgrade programs. A recent NADA facilities study found no evidence that facility improvements result in any sales gains, either short term or long term. It's a point of contention between some dealers and some manufacturers.


 


 

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