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Inside this issue
Ford's Belgium Plant Closing Could Impact U.S. Suppliers
Sporty Store is a No-Go at GM
VW Threatens to End GM's Eight-Year Lead in China
Daimler Cuts 2012 Outlook, Delays 2013 Margin Targets
J.D. Power: Consumers Increase Their Use of Smartphones in Car Shopping
Firms Work to Cut Car Weight
DCH Auto Group Promotes Teen Driving Safety through NADA Foundation
Click here for more auto industry news at NADAFrontPage.com. .
Top Stories
Ford's Belgium Plant Closing Could Impact U.S. Suppliers

The announcement that Ford Motor Co. will close its Genk, Belgium, plant begins what will be a long, painful road for U.S.-based suppliers if they don't react quickly as the European economic crisis deepens, experts say. The Ford plant, which is supported by several U.S. suppliers, including Visteon Corp. and Lear Corp., is expected to close in 2014 as the automaker projects losses in Europe of $1 billion.
Source: Crain's Detroit Business

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Sporty Store is a No-Go at GM

Bonuses end; chagrined Chevy dealer faces big hit, won't back down

Just as the U.S. auto industry was heading into a deep recession in 2008, Chevrolet dealer Marc Heitz opened a $20 million dealership in Norman, Okla., modeled after outfitter Bass Pro Shops. The log building features a vehicle showroom with a 45-foot waterfall, a huge aquarium with big bass and local fish species and, to entertain kids, an arcade and imprints of animal tracks on the concrete floor. Outside, bear and elk statues guard a giant picnic area, two dog runs, a cistern for collecting rainwater and a 110-foot wind generator that supplies 3 percent of the store's electricity. Only one problem: General Motors says the store fails to comply with Chevrolet's new facilities standards.
Source: Automotive News

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VW Threatens to End GM's Eight-Year Lead in China

After trailing General Motors Co. in China for eight years, Volkswagen AG edged ahead in the third quarter, putting it one step closer to its goal of becoming the world's biggest automaker. VW's deliveries in the country jumped 21 percent last quarter, almost triple GM's growth, to 704,991 vehicles, according to figures the company reported yesterday. That beat the 664,765 that GM reported earlier this month.
Source: Bloomberg

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Daimler Cuts 2012 Outlook, Delays 2013 Margin Targets

Automaker confirms pre-released Q3 results

Daimler AG warned it would miss its full-year profit forecast by about 1 billion euros ($1.29 billion) and delayed its 2013 return targets amid "significantly more difficult market conditions," it said in a statement that appeared to be accidentally released. "Due to the economic challenges, Daimler will not match the high prior-year EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) in full-year 2012, but will still post good earnings once again," CEO Dieter Zetsche said in a statement that was sent by e-mail [Wednesday], a day earlier than scheduled.
Source: Reuters

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J.D. Power: Consumers Increase Their Use of Smartphones in Car Shopping

Consumers' reliance on their smartphones to obtain information about new cars is growing, according to the 2012 Automotive Mobile Site Study, released Tuesday by J.D. Power and Associates, the market research company. The study found that the number of shoppers using smartphones this year increased to 31 percent from 24 percent in 2011, and from 17 percent in 2010. It also found that 53 percent of those shoppers accessed information from their smartphones at the dealership.
Source: The New York Times

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Firms Work to Cut Car Weight

Manufacturing process is key, analysts say

As automakers prepare to meet strict fuel-efficiency standards, some have already ditched ashtrays, CD players and spare tires to reduce weight. But the body, which makes up most of a typical car's weight, will be the area where automakers will have to shed the most poundage if they want to meet upcoming Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. Some automakers have turned to materials like aluminum, which is considerably lighter but more expensive than steel. But most buyers won't notice how automakers are trimming pounds by changing the processes in which parts are made.
Source: The Detroit News

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DCH Auto Group Promotes Teen Driving Safety through NADA Foundation

The DCH Auto Group has allocated its grants from the Ambassadors program of the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation to preventing the No. 1 cause of death among teens: car crashes. To help fund its safety programs, DCH contributed $10,000 to name each of its dealerships (31 at the time) as NADA Foundation Ambassadors. DCH currently operates 29 dealerships in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Southern California. The dealership group, which holds a record number of ambassadorships, recently received a $62,000 grant from the program to promote its safe driving programs for teens through education and advocacy. “The disbursements we receive from the NADA Foundation’s Ambassadors program help us fund programs and activities that raise awareness and inform both teens and their parents about the dangers of distracted driving,” said Shau-wai Lam, chairman of DCH Auto Group. For more information or to become an Ambassador, contact the NADA Foundation at (703) 821-7102 or foundation@nada.org.
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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"To me, it's not whether you're the biggest car manufacturer. It's whether you want to be the most profitable."

   
-- Dan Akerson, GM CEO, commenting on the competition to be the biggest automaker in China, Bloomberg, Oct. 25

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